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Autobiography 


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A.  T.  STILL. 


|_AUTOBI0GRAPHY  Or 

Andrew  T.  Still 


WITH  A 

HISTORY  OF  THE  DISCOVERY  AND  DEVELOP- 
MENT  OF  THE  SCIENCE  OF  OSTEOPATHY  :  :  : 


Together  with  an  account 
of  the  founding  of  the  ,  .  . 
....  Anr^erican  School  of 
Osteopathy  J  and  lectures 
delivered  before  that  .  .  . 
i  .  institution  from  time  to 
time  during  the  progress 
of  the  discovery 


ILLUSTRATED 


^pr 


Published  by 
the  Author 


KIRKSVILLE,   MO. 
1897 


^11 


Copyright,  1897,  by 
A.  T.  STILL 


A/ 

defi:n'itio]!^s. 

e.  / 

Os-te-op'-a-thy,  s.      [Gr.   ocTiov    (osteon)  =&  bone,  and  irddos 
(pathos)  =  suffering.  ] 

Legal:  "A  system,  method,  or  science  of  healing." 
(See  statutes  of  the  State  of  Missouri.) 

Historical:  Osteopathy  was  discovered  by  Dr.  A.  T. 
Still,  of  Baldwin,  Kan.,  1874.  Dr.  Still  reasoned  that  "a 
natural  flow  of  blood  is  health  ;  and  disease  is  the  effect 
of  local  or  general  disturbance  of  blood — that  to  excite  the 
nerves  causes  muscles  to  contract  and  compress  venous 
flow  of  blood  to  the  heart ;  and  the  bones  could  be  used  as 
levers  to  relieve  pressure  on  nerves,  veins,  and  arteries. 
(A.  T.  Still.) 

Technical :  Osteopathy  is  that  science  which  consists  of 
such  exact,  exhaustive,  and  verifiable  knowledge  of  the 
structure  and  functions  of  the  human  mechanism,  ana- 
tomical, physiological,  and  psychological,  including  the 
chemistry  and  physics  of  its  known  elements,  as  has  made 
discoverable  certain  organic  laws  and  remedial  resources, 
within  the  body  itself,  by  which  nature  under  the  scien- 
tific treatment  peculiar  to  osteopatliic  practice,  apart  from 
all  ordinary  methods  of  extraneous,  artificial,  or  medi- 
cinal stimulation,  and  in  harmonious  accord  with  its  own 
mechanical  principles,  molecular  activities,  and  metabolic 
processes,  may  recover  from  displacements,  disorganiza- 
tions, derangements,  and  consequent  disease,  and  regain 
its  normal  equilibrium  of  form  and  function  in  health 
and  strength. 

Os-te-o-path,  s.  The  same  as  Osteopathist  (q.v. ). 

Os  te-o-path-ic,  a.  Of  or  belonging  to  Osteopathy  ;  as,  osteo- 
pathic treatment. 

Os-te-o-path-ic  al-ly,  adv.  In  an  osteopathic  manner ;  ac 
cording  to  the  rules  and  principles  of  Osteopathy. 

Os-te-6p'-a-thist,  s.  One  who  believes  or  practises  in  oste- 
opathy ;  an  Osteopath. 

Dip'lo-mate  in  Osteopathy.  The  technical  and  official  desig- 
nation of  a  graduate  and  practitioner  in  Osteopathy,  the 
formal  title  of  such  graduate  or  practitioner  being  D.  O. 
^-Diplomate  or  Doctor  in  Osteopathy. 


PREFACE. 


I  WILL  inform  the  reader  at  the  outset  that  this 
book  is  written  to  state  facts,  without  being  con- 
fined to  exact  dates  and  figures.  Events  that 
have  made  lasting  impressions  on  my  mind, 
stated  as  correctly  as  possible  from  memory,  are 
narrated  here  without  regard  to  the  rules  of  fine 
writing,  I  never  kept  any  notes  of  my  life, 
therefore  the  stories  may  appear  disconnected. 
When  I  tell  you  of  an  event  it  will  be  the  truth 
as  I  remember  it,  regardless  of  how  it  may  look 
in  print.  I  want  to  avoid  "biography"  as  I 
write,  for  the  reason  that  "  biographies"  are  so 
nicely  worded  that  the  reader  often  has  to  ask 
whom  the  narrator  "is  giving  a  write-up."  Not- 
withstanding I  am  often  told  that  I  ought  to  get 
a  professional  "biographer"  to  take  my  life,  I 
have  concluded  to  reserve  it  for  myself. 

When  I  read  about  the  battles  of  the  Eebellion, 
"How  Major  A.  T.  Still  charged  on  rebels  with 
uplifted  saber,  uging  his  men  to  victory,"  I  be- 


6  PREFACE. 

gin  to  doubt  history,  for  I  know  there  was  not 

a   saber   drawn  nor   any  yelling  during   a  hard 

fight  of  two  hours'  duration  between  thirty-five 

thousand    combatants  on  a  side.      I   remember 

also  the  reporters  of  the  sixties,  who  never  tried 

to  write  the  truth,  and  could  not  if  they  wanted 

to,   because  five   to   ten    miles  was   as   near    as 

they  ever  got  to  bullets ;    and  I  think  they  are 

sometimes  just  as  afraid  of  the  truth  to-day  as 

they  then  were  of  lead.     I  will  say  to  the  reader, 

if  you  wish  to  read   my  story,  please  read   as  I 

write  it,  and  not  the  garbled   account  of  some 

newspaper  misrepresentative. 

A.  T.  Still. 

KiRKSViLLE,  Mo.,  June  15th,  1897. 


CONTENTS. 


CHAPTER  I. 


Early  Life — Schoolboy  Days,  and  the  Unsparing  Rod — A 
Judge  of  Dogs— My  Flint-Lock  Rifle— The  First  Cook 
Stove  and  Sewing-Machine — End  of  the  World  Coming — 
My  First  Discovery  in  Osteopathy,      .        .        .     Page  15 

CHAPTER  II. 

The  Wild  Game  of  the  Frontier — Mr.  Cochran's  Deer — The 
Deer's  Foot — Treed  by  a  Buck — I  Capture  an  Eagle — Night 
Hunting — Brother  Jim's  Horn — The  Philosophy  of  Skunks 
and  Buzzards— Milking  Under  Difficulties — Attacked  by 
Panthers, Page  34 

CHAPTER  III. 

My  Father — Transferred  to  Missouri — Long  Journey — The 
First  Steamboat — At  St.  Louis — An  Unscrupulous  Divine 
— Hardships  in  The  West — Tlie  First  Methodist  Preacher 
in  Northeast  Missouri — Presiding  Elder — Trouble  in  the 
M.  E.  Church— Stand  Taken  by  Elder  Abram  Still— Re- 
moval to  Kansas, Page  51 

CHAPTER  IV. 

In  Which  I  Take  a  Wife— The  Infair— A  Destructive  Hail- 
Storm — At    Wakarusa   Mission — Bereavement — The  Pro- 
Slaverj'   Trouble — A    Dangerous    Ride — The   Pro-Slavery 
.   Men  Drilling — My  Legislative  E:jfperience,        .     Page  59 


CONTENTS. 


CHAPTER  V. 

I  Enlist  in  Company  F,  Ninth  Cavalry  Volunteers — Our 
Mission — At  Kansas  City — Pursuit  of  Price — The  Army  at 
Springfield — Summary  Vengeance  on  Guerrillas — Captain 
Company  D  of  the  Eighteenth  Kansas  Militia — Major  of 
the  Twenty-First  Kansas  Militia— On  the  Missouri  Frontier 
— Fighting  Joe  Shelby — Osteopathy  in  Danger — Burying 
Dead  Under  a  Flag  of  Truce — The  Regiment  Treated  to  a 
Surprise, Page  81 

CHAPTER  VI. 

The  End  of  the  War — Rejoicing  at  the  Dawn  of  Peace — New 
Dangers — The  Evil  of  Drugs— Terrible  Visions — A  Picture 
Drawn — Digging  in  Indian  Graves  for  Subjects — Studying 
from  the  Great  Book  of  Nature — The  Ravages  of  Tliat  Ter- 
rible Disease  Meningitis — Prayers  and  Medicine — Death 
of  Four  Members  of  My  Family — Is  Medicine  a  Failure? 

Page  91 
CHAPTER  VII. 

As  an  Inventor — The  Tired  Arm — The  Reaper  and  Mower — 
The  Rake — The  Steel  Fingers — An  Invention  Lost — On 
a  Farm — A  Smart  Wife — Churning — The  Philosophy  of 
Butter — Another  Invention — Studying  the  Drive-Wheels 
of  Nature — The  Science  of  Osteopathy  Developed, 

Page  102 
CHAPTER  VIII. 

An  Effort  to  Draw  the  Attention  of  the  People  to  Osteopathy — 
Failure  at  Baldwin,  Kans. — History  of  Baker  University 
— Prayers  for  the  Man  Possessed — Brother  Jim's  Scepti- 
cism— Faith  of  My  Good  Wife — A  Wandering  Osteopath 
— My  Story  in  Clinton  County — Treating  Asthma — My 
Studies— A  Hypnotist, Page  110 

CHAPTER  IX. 

My  First  Case  of  Flux — Old  Methods — More  Cases — Believed 
to  be  Possessed  of  the  Devil — Prayers  from  Fools — A  Dis- 
located Neck — Leaving  Macon — At  Kirksville — Mother 
Ivie — Dr.  F.  A.  Grove — Judge  Linder — Chinn's  Cheering 


CONTENTS.  9 

Way — Robert  Harris — A  Helpless  Cripple  —  Typhoid 
Fever — Feeble  in  Health  and  Purse — Punching  for  In- 
ebriacy — An  Ointment  for  Drunkenness,  .     Page  119 

CHAPTER   X. 

Refiectiona  on  the  Seventies — Choosing  a  Path  in  Life — What 
Life  Is — Anxiety  to  Leave  It — Child's  Pluck — The  Brain 
the  Only  Hope — The  Widow's  Trials — Brain  Triumphant 
— The  Greatest  Legacy  Energy,  .        .        .     Page  135 

CHAPTER  XI. 

Working  Alone — Success — The  Pile  Doctor  and  Lightning- 
Rod  Peddler — Dr.  William  Smith  Comes  to  Investigate — 
The  Lesson  in  Electricity — Motor  and  Sensory — What  is 
Fever? — Dr.  Smith  a  Convert — The  Success  of  Lady  Osteo- 
paths— Especially  Excellent  in  Obstetrics — Diseases  of  the 
Season — The  Allegory  of  Joshua — Basic  Principles — The 
Too-much-talk  Man — Charter  of  the  American  School  of 
Osteopathy. Page  144 

CHAPTER  XII. 

Introduction  to  Iiectures — Honest  Criticism  Invited — Not  a 
Writer  of  Books — Old  Remedies  and  Death — To  Study 
Osteopathy — Thorough  Knowledge  of  Anatomy  Essential 
— Woes  of  a  Bald-Headed  Doctor — The  World  on  Trial — 
Judge  of  the  Living  and  the  Dead — The  Trial  Proceeds — 
For  Twenty  Thousand  Years — Struggles  of  Nations — 
Soldier  Under  the  New  Flag,      ....     Page  173 

CHAPTER  XIII. 

Something  about  Infallible  Signs — Appealing  to  My  Little 

Preaclier — Anxiety    in     Waiting    for    an    Answer — The 

Charges  and  Specifications — Divine  Law  of  Finger  and 

•    Thamb Page  199 

CHAPTER  XIV. 

The  Great  Vision — A  Wonderful  Procession — An  Assembly  to 
Benefit  the  Human  Race — War — Defeat — Surrender — The 
Doctors  in  Council — Forceps  and  Laceration — The  Spy  on 


1'^ 


10  CONTENTS. 

Osteopatliy-r-A  Disturbed  Artery  and  the  Result — Nature's 
System  of  Midwifery — Osteopatliy  Defined — Whips  of  Qui- 
nine to  Drive  Out  Fever — Tlie  Corpus  Callosum — Cor- 
puscles— The  Equipments  as  Fremont's  Surgeon — How 
God  Manifests  Himself, Page  212 

CHAPTER  XV. 

Various  Diseases — Normal  and  Abnormal — Nerves  and  Veins 
— How  Often  to  Treat — Do  Not  Bruise  the  Muscles — The 
Battery  and  Engine — Beware  of  the  Buzzards,       Page  227 

CHAPTER  XVI. 

A  Demand  for  a  Revolution — A  Plea  for  an  Advance  in  Os- 
teopathy— Object  of  Osteopathy — How  to  Irrigate — Death 
Defined — How  Pain  is  Created — The  Building  of  the  Thigh- 
Bone — The  Solvent  Powers  of  Life — The  Destruction  of 
Pain — The  Object  of  Moving  Bones  and  Muscles, 

Page  243 

CHAPTER  XVII. 
Tlie  Vermiform  Appendix — Operating  for  Appendicitis — Ex- 
pelling Power  of  the  Vermiform  Appendix — Care  Exer- 
cised in  Making  Assertions — The  Human  Machinery — 
Which  Best,  God's  Machine  or  Man's? — The  Germ — The 
Astronomer  and  New  Worlds — The  Knife  of  Wisdom — 
The  Law  of  Affinity— The  Heart  of  Man  and  the  Trunk  of 
a  Tree— The  Heart  is  King  of  All,      .         .         .     Page  257 

CHAPTER  XVIII. 

Lecture  in  the  College  Hall,  Monday,  January  14th,  1895 — 
Introduction — God  is  God — The  Osteopatli  an  Electrician 
— Diphtheria — Bright's  Disease — An  Illustration — The 
Age  of  Osteopathy — The  Children  of  Life  and  Death, 

Page  271 

CHAPTER  XIX. 

Lecture  of  A.  T.  Still,  at  Infirmary,  January  20,  1895— Why 
He  Invited  the  Colored  People  to  the  Infirmary — Memorial 
Hall— Quinine    and    Fibroid    Tumors — Dover    Powders, 


CONTENTS.  11 

Calomel  and  Castor  Oil — Not  a  Christian  Scientist — Not  a 
Mesmerist — Oxygen  and  Health — To  Patients — The  Object 
of  Osteopathy — Seventy-five  Per  Cent  of  All  Cases  Bene- 
fited—Fifty Per  Cent  Cured Page  384 

CHAPTER  XX. 

Lecture  Delivered  in  Memorial  Hall,  March  12,  1895 — A  Ma- 
ture Woman — What  is  Man? — The  Unknowable — Life  Is  a 
Mystery — The  Pace  We  Go — The  Machinery  to  Work 
With, Page  293 

CHAPTER   XXI. 

Osteopathy  as  a  Science — I  Got  So  Mad  I  Bawled — The  Triumph 
of  Freedom — Reproached  for  Opposing  the  Teachings  of 
My  Father — Osteopathy  and  Reverence  of  God — The  Teleg- 
rapliy  of  Life — The  Circulation — Preparing  the  Blood — 
Sickness  Defined — The  Electric  Light  and  Osteopathy — A 
Scholarship  from  the  University  of  Nature — Professor  Pea- 
cock and  a  Lesson  from  His  Tail,       .        .        .     Page  306 

CHAPTER   XXII. 

Address  in  Memorial  Hall,  June  22d,  1895 — All  Patterns  Found 
in  Man — Attributes  of  Deity  Found  in  Man — No  Flaw  in 
the  Construction — Lesson  from  a  Sawmill — Never  was 
Flux — Abuse  of  Osteopathy — Some  Notes  of  Warning — 
Efforts  to  Seduce  Incompetent  Students  to  Practice — Dan- 
ger from  Incompetents — Danger  of  Going  Out  Too  Soon, 

Page  318 

CHAPTER  XXIII. 

Address  at  Memorial  Hall,  June  4th,  1896 — Debtor  and  Creditor 
— Intermittent  Fever — Danger  of  Depopulation — A  Doc- 
tor's Prescription  for  Fever — Electrical  Machine  in  the 
Brain — Injury  to  Spinal  Cord  Paralysis — Effects  of  Medi- 
cine— What  an  Osteopath  Must  Know — The  Seriousness  of 
Studying  Osteopathy — Courses  of  Study — Definition  of 
Flux — Spread  of  Osteopathy — Style  of  Cases — Specific 
Cases, Page  336 


12  CONTENTS. 


CHAPTER  XXIV. 

Lecture  April  25th,  1895— Not  an  Infidel— Again  That  Won- 
derful Machine — What  Business  Sagacity  Teaches  Us — 
The  Blacksmith  and  Watchmaker — Object  of  the  School — 
Want  No  Moderate  Osteopaths — Medicine  and  Twelve 
Thousand  Poisons — A  Case  of  Aphonia,    .        .     Page  356 

CHAPTER  XXV. 

Address  to  Students  and  Diplomats,  May  7th,  1894 — Osteopathy 
Adlieres  to  the  Laws  of  Nature — Affidavits  of  Medical 
Doctors — Osteopathy  Can  Accomplish  All  Things — All  or 
Nothing— Stand  by  the  Old  Flag,      .         .         .      Page  363 

CHAPTER  XXVI. 
Address  on  Twenty-first  Anniversary  of  the  Discovery  of  Os- 
teopathy, June22d,  1895— King  Alcohol— Fitting  Out  Man 
for  the  Journey  of  Life — The  Lever  that  Controls  Fever — 
The  Great  Wisdom  Knows  No  Failure — Why  "Osteopathy" 
Was    Chosen    for  This    Science — Gall-Stones  and  Cure, 

Page  369 
CHAPTER  XXVII. 

Tlie  Morning  Stroll — Dawn — Astronomy — Timidity — Tlie  Flag 
of  Truce — The  Kind  of  Scalps  We  Seek — A  Prayer  for 
Wives  and  Mothers — The  New  Joshua — Divorced  from 
Allopathy— The  Looms  of  Time— The  Web  of  Life— "The 
Old  Doctor" — Some  Questions  Answered — How  Curious  is 
Life — Prophecy  Defined — Thought  Touches  the  Infinite, 

Page  378 
CHATER  XXVIII. 

A  Life  Story — The  Machine  for  the  Harvest  of  Life — A  Reso- 
lution for  Truth — High  Respect  for  Surgery — Surgery 
Defined — What  Can  Osteopathy  Give  in  Place  of  Drugs? — 
A  Few  Questions  are  Propounded  to  the  Medical  Doctors. 

Page  392 
CHAPTER  XXIX. 

Address  on  Sixty-Eighth  Birthday — Only  a  Few  More  Cycles 
of  Time — Surprise  of  People — All  the  Word  "Remedy" 
Means — Answering  Questions — Most  Sublime  Thought — 


CONTENTS.  13 

Pleasure  of  Granting  Relief — Journey  from  the  Heart  to 
the  Toe — Intuitive  Mind — Will  the  Divine  Law  Do  to 
Trust? Page  401 

CHAPTER  XXX. 

Address  on  Sixty-Ninth  Birthday — Tribute  to  a  Little  Anato- 
mist— Parents'  Duty — When  Still  Was  Off — A  Warrior 
from  Birth — Who  Discovered  Osteopathy? — Clairvoyant 
and  Clairaudient — Born  to  Know  Something  of  Drugs — 
The  Fight  to  Preserve  Health — Mathematical  Fits — Cli- 
matic Effect  on  the  Lungs — Diet — Consternation — Why 
I  Love  God, Page  410 

CHAPTER  XXXI. 

A  Business  Allegory — My  First  Life  a  Business  Failure — Seek- 
ing Success — The  Parson's  Advice — Investing  in  a  Saw- 
mill— Self-reliance — A  Soliloquy — Asleep  Under  the  Tree 
— The  Ram — Up  a  Tree — Legs  as  Well  as  Head  Necessary 
to  Success— The  Labeled  Tree — Label  of  Success — How  to 
Succeed  in  Business — A  Great  Financier — A  Dream  and 
Its  Realization — The  Wife  Appeals  in  Vain — That  Blessed 
Ram  to  the  Rescue. — Knocked  from  the  Top  of  an  Un- 
paid-for  Ten-Thousand-Dollar  House — The  Ram  Speaks, 

Page  423 
CHAPTER  XXXII. 

The  Muscles — Brain  Headquarters — Tlie  Army  of  Muscles — 
The  Secret  of  God — How  to  Live  Long  and  Loud — Time 
Coming  for  Big  Dinners — Command  to  Eat — Off  to  the 
Country — Osteopathy  Cures  Seasickness — Country  Friends 
— Quiet  and  Shady — Explaining  the  Cause  of  Lumbago — 
Tired  Nature  Seeks  Repose,        ....     Page  443 

CHAPTER  XXXIII. 

In  Which  I  Make  Some  Allusion  to  My  Family — My  Wife- 
Gathering  Gems  of  Tliought — My  Children — Drawing  to  a 
Close — My  Friends — The  Book  of  Life — Our  Dead — Fred — 
Conclusion,  . 451 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL. 


CHAPTER   I. 

Early  Life — Schoolboy  Days,  and  the  Unsparing  Rod — A 
Judge  of  Dogs— My  Flint-Lock  Rifle— The  First  Cook- 
Stove  and  Sewing-Machine — End  of  the  World  Coming — 
My  First  Discovery  in  Osteopathy. 

SUPPOSE  I  began  life  as 
other  children,  with  the 
animal  form,  mind,  and 
motion  all  in  running 
order.  I  suppose  I  bawl- 
ed, and  filled  the  bill  of 
nature  in  the  baby  life. 
My  mother  was  as  others 
who  had  five  or  six  angels  to  yell  all  night 
for  her  comfort.  In  four  or  five  years  I  got 
my  first  pants;  then  I  was  the  man  of  the 
house.  In  due  time  I  was  sent  off  to  school  in  a 
log  schoolhoiise,  taught  by  an  old  man  by  the 
name  of  Vandeburgh.  He  looked  wise  while  he 
was  resting  from  his  duties,  which  were  to  thrash 
the  boys  and  girls,  big  and  little,  from  T  a.m.  till 


16  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

6  P.M.,  with  a  few  lessons  in  spelling,  reading, 
writing,  grammar,  ancl  arithmetic  sandwiched 
between.  Then  the  roll-call,  with  orders  to  go 
home  and  not  fight  on  the  road  to  and  from  the 
schoolhouse,  and  be  on  time  at  seven  next  morn- 
ing to  receive  more  thrashings,  till  the  boys  and 
girls  would  not  have  sense  enough  to  recite  their 
lessons.  Then  he  made  us  sit  on  a  horse's  skull- 
bone  for  our  poor  spelling,  and  pardoned  our 
many  sins  with  the  sparing  rod,  selecting  the  one 
suited  to  the  occasion  out  of  twelve  which  served 
in  the  walloping  business,  until  6  p.m. 

In  1834  my  father  moved  from  that  place  of 
torture,  which  was  at  Jonesboro,  Lee  County, 
Va.,  to  Newmarket,  Tenn.  Then  in  1835  I  was 
entered  with  two  older  brothers  as  a  student 
in  the  "Holston  College,"  located  at  Newmarket, 
Tenn.,  for  more  schooling,  under  the  control  of 
the  M.  E.  Church,  which  school  was  conducted 
by  Henry  C.  Saffel,  a  man  of  high  culture,  a 
head  full  of  brains,  without  any  traces  of  the 
brute  in  his  work. 

In  the  year  of  1837  my  father  was  appointed 
by  the  M.  E.  conference  of  Tennessee  to  go  as  a 
missionary  to  Missouri.  We  bade  adieu  to  the 
fine  brick  college  at  Holston,  and  at  the  end  of 
seven   weeks'   journey  reached   our    destination, 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  17 

and  found  we  were  in  a  country  where  there 
were  neither  schools,  churches,  nor  printing- 
presses,  so  here  schooling  ended  until  1839. 
Then  ray  father  and  six  or  eight  others  hired  a 
man  b}'  the  name  of  J.  D.  Halstead  to  teach  us 
as  best  he  could  during  the  winter  of  1839-40. 
He  was  very  rigid,  but  not  so  brutal  as  Vande- 
burgh.  The  spring  of  1840  took  us  from  Macon 
County  to  Schuyler  County,  Missouri,  where  I  re- 
ceived no  more  schooling  until  1842.  That 
autumn  we  felled  trees  in  the  woods,  and  built  a 
log  cabin  eighteen  by  twenty  feet  in  size,  seven 
feet  high,  dirt  floor,  with  one  whole  log  or  pole 
left  out  to  admit  light,  through  sheeting  tacked 
over  the  space,  so  we  could  see  to  read  and 
write.  This  institution  of  learning  was  conduct- 
ed by  John  Mikel,  of  Wilkesborough,  N.  C,  at 
the  rate  of  two  dollars  per  head  for  ninety  days. 
He  was  good  to  his  pupils,  and  they  advanced 
rapidly  under  his  training.  The  summer  of  1843 
Mr,  John  Hindmon,  of  Virginia,  taught  a  three- 
months'  term,  in  which  mental  improvement 
was  noted.  Then  back  to  the  old  log-house,  for 
a  fall  term  in  Smith's  Grammar,  under  Rev. 
James  B.  Callowav.  He  drilled  his  class  well  in 
the  English  branches  for  four  months,  proving 

himself  to  be  a   great  and    good  man,  and  de- 
2 


18  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

parted  with  the  love  and  praise  of  all  who  knew 
him. 

In  the  spring  of  1845  we  returned  to  Macon 
County.  A  school  was  taught  by  G.  B.  Burk- 
hart,  but  I  did  not  attend  it,  as  he  and  I  did  not 
agree,  so  I  left  home  and  entered  school  at  La 
Plata,  Mo.,  conducted  by  Eev.  Samuel  Davidson, 
of  the  Cumberland  Presbyterian  church.  While 
attending  his  school  I  boarded  with  John  Gil- 
breath,  one  of  the  best  men  I  ever  knew.  He 
and  his  dear  wife  were  a  father  and  a  mother  to 
me,  and  I  cannot  say  too  many  kind  words  of 
them.  His  grave  holds  one  of  my  best  and  dear- 
est friends.  They  opened  their  doors,  and  let 
myself  and  a  dear  friend  and  schoolmate,  John 
Duvall  (long  since  dead),  into  their  home.  Morn- 
ings, evenings,  and  Saturdays  my  friend  and  I 
split  rails,  milked  cows,  helped  Mrs.  Gilbreath 
tend  babies,  and  do  as  much  of  the  housework  as 
we  could.  When  we  left  she  wept  as  a  loving 
mother  parting  from  her  children.  There  are 
many  more  of  whom  I  could  speak  with  equal 
praise,  but  time  and  space  will  not  admit.  In 
the  summer  of  IS-tS  I  returned  to  La  Plata,  to 
attend  a  school  given  wholly  to  the  science  of 
numbers,  under  Nicholas  Langston,  who  was  a 
wonderful  mathematician.      I  stayed  with  him 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  19 

until  I  had  mastered  the  cube  and  square  root  in 
Ray's  third  part  Arithmetic.  Thus  ended  my 
school-days  in  La  Plata. 

The  reader  must  not  suppose  that  all  my  time 
was  spent  in  acquiring  an  education  at  log 
schoolhouses. 

I  was  like  all  boys,  a  little  lazy  and  fond  of  a 
gun.  I  had  three  dogs, — a  spaniel  for  the  water, 
a  hound  for  the  fox,  and  a  bulldog  for  bear  and 
panthers.  My  gun  for  many  years  was  the  old 
flint-lock,  which  went  chuck,  fizz,  and  bang;  so 
you  see,  to  hit  where  you  wanted  to,  you  had  to 
hold  still  a  long  time, — and,  if  the  powder  was 
damp  in  the  pan,  much  longer,  for  there  could  be 
no  bang  until  the  fizzing  was  exhausted,  and  fire 
could  reach  the  touch-hole  leading  to  the  powder- 
charge  behind  the  ball.  All  this  required  skill 
and  a  steady  nerve,  to  hit  the  spot. 

I  was  called  a  good  judge  of  dogs,  and  quoted 
as  authority  on  the  subject.  A  hound,  to  be  a 
great  dog,  must  have  a  flat,  broad,  and  thin 
tongue,  deep-set  eyes,  thin  and  long  ears,  very 
broad  and  raised  some  at  the  head,  and  hang 
three  inches  below  the  under-jaw.  The  roof  of 
his  mouth  had  to  be  black,  his  tail  long  and  very 
slim,  to  be  a  good  coon-dog.  That  kind  of  pups 
I  was  supposed  to  sell  for  a  dollar  each,  though 


20  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

I  usually  gave  them  away.  When  I  went  to  the 
woods,  armed  with  my  flint-lock  and  three  dogs, 
they  remained  with  me  until  I  said,  "Seize  him. 
Drummer !"  which  command  sent  Drummer  out 
on  a  prospecting  trip.  When  I  wanted  squir- 
rels I  threw  a  stick  up  a  tree  and  cried :  "  Hunt 
him  up.  Drummer!"  In  a  short  time  the  faithful 
beast  had  treed  a  squirrel.  When  I  wanted  deer 
I  hunted  toward  the  wind,  keeping  Drum  behind 
me.  When  he  scented  a  deer  he  walked  under 
my  gun,  which  I  carried  point  front.  I  was  al- 
ways warned  by  his  tail  falling  that  I  was  about 
as  close  as  I  could  get  to  my  game  without  start- 
ing it  from  the  grass. 

This  old-fashioned  flint-lock  hunting  was  under 
the  Van  Buren  and  Polk's  administration ;  but 
when  Harrison — "old  Tip" — came  in,  I  possessed 
a  cap-lock  gun.  Now  I  was  a  "man."  "Big 
Injun  me."  To  pull  the  trigger  was  "bang"-  at 
once,  and  I  was  able  to  shoot  deer  "on  the  run." 
Shot-guns  were  not  in  use  at  that  time,  but  the 
frontiersman  became  very  expert  with  the  rifle. 
I  could  hit  a  hawk,  wild  goose,  or  any  bird  that 
did  not  fly  too  high  or  too  fast  for  my  aim.  I 
killed  great  numbers  of  deer,  turkeys,  eagles, 
wildcats,  and  foxes.  My  frontier  life  made  me 
very  fleet  on  foot.     Brother  Jim  and  I  ran  down 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 


21 


and  caught  sixteen  foxes  in  the  month  of  Sep- 
tember in  the  fall  of  1839.  Fearing  some  one 
will  regard  this  as  a  fish  story,  I  will  explain 
that  during  the  summer  and  fall  some  kind  of 

disease  got  among 
the  foxes,  and  we 
found  them  lying 
in  the  hot  roads 
in  the  dust, 
feeble     and 


WK  POUND  THEM  LYING  IN  THE  HOT  ROADS  IN  THE  DUST. 

shaking,  as  though  they  had  the  fever  and  ague, 
and  incapable  of  running  away  from  us.  I  have 
never  since  tried  to  outrun  a  fox. 

As  furs  were  not  worth  a  cent  in  September, 
our  sixteen  foxes  were  useless,  but  during  the 
preceding  winter  we  caught  a  mink,  and  con- 
cluded to  go  to  market  with  it,  as  we  must  have 


22  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

a  five-cent  bar  of  lead  before  we  could  shoot 
more  game.  So  I  saddled  my  horse  Selim,  and 
went  to  Bloomington  (nine  miles)  to  exchange 
my  mink-skin  for  lead.  The  barter  was  made 
with  my  good  friend  Thomas  Sharp  (an  uncle  of 
Eev.  George  Sharp,  of  Kirksville,  Mo.),  and  soon 
the  hide  was  with  other  furs,  coons'  and  opos- 
sums'. Then  I  mounted  Selim  and  started  for 
home  to  tell  Jim  that  I  had  found  a  permanent 
market  for  mink-skins  at  five  cents  apiece.  In 
short  time  I  shot  a  deer,  and  had  a  buck-skin  to 
add  to  the  fur  trade,  and  took  my  "big"  fifty 
cents  in  powder,  lead,  and  caps. 

Early  in  the  forties  I  was  very  much  in 
dread  of  the  Judgment  Day,  or  some  awful 
calamity.  I  was  told  of  the  signs  and  half- 
signs  that  were  to  come  before  the  "  end  cometh" 
until  my  young  mind  was  nearly  distracted. 

Men  had  grown  so  wise  that  they  knew  just 
when  the  great  wheels  of  time  would  stop.  But 
the  story  of  the  Day  of  Judgment  was  nothing 
compared  to  a  wonderful  invention  a  great  and 
wise  man  had  gotten  up,  called  a  sewing- 
machine,  which  could  make  over  a  hundred 
stitches  in  a  minute.  I  knew  it  must  be  so,  for 
I  read  it  in  The  Methodist  Christian  Advocate  of 
New  York.     I  told  my  chum,  Dick  Eoberts,  the 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  23 

story,  and  be  said  it  was  a  lie,  because  his 
mammy  was  as  smart  a  gal  as  tbere  was  in  tbe 
country,  "and  sbe  couldn't  make  but  twenty,  so 
he  wa'n't  going  to  swallow  any  such  stuff." 

I  didn't  tell  Dick  all  the  wonderful  things  I 
had  heard.  I  wantefl  to  tell  him  that  "Sister 
Stone,"  just  four  miles  from  where  we  stood,  had 
told  me  she  had  brought  a  cook-stove  with  her 
from  the  East,  and  she  could  make  coffee,  fry  or 
boil  meat,  bake  bread,  make  syrup,  and  cook  any- 
thing on  it  in  good  shape ;  but  for  the  sake  of  my 
own  veracity  I  determined  to  go  and  see  if  it  was 
true  before  I  told  it  to  Dick. 

I  told  father  I  was  going  to  hunt  stray  cattle. 
He  said  "all  right."  Having  joined  the  church 
a  few  Sundays  before,  he  supposed  I  was  honest 
about  looking  for  cattle,  while  I  really  wanted  to 
see  Sister  Stone's  cook-stove,  and  determined  to 
let  evil  prevail  that  good  might  come.  So  I 
mounted  Selim,  and  as  soon  as  I  could  get  out  of 
father's  sight,  I  "  put  the  bud"  to  his  sides  and 
hind  legs,  till  four  miles  were  left  far  behind  us. 
Reaching  Sister  Stone's,  I  called: 

"Hello,  Sister  Stone;  have  you  seen  any  of  our 
cattle  around  here  for  a  day  or  two?" 

"No,"  she  said;  "but  get  down  and  come  in." 

I  slid  off  Selim  too  quick,  asking: 


24 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL. 


"Can  I  get  a  drink  of  water?" 
"  Oh,  yes.     It  is  mighty  warm !" 
While  drinking,  she  called  my  attention  to  her 
cook-stove.     I  asked    her   all   about  its  cooking 


I  ASKED  IF  SHE  COULD  BAKE  CORN-BREAD  IN  IT. 

powers,  and  she  explained  all  about  it.     I  asked 
her  if  she  could  bake  corn-bread  in  it. 

"Oh,  yes,  just  wait  a  few  minutes,  and  I  will 
bake  you  some."  She  did  it  to  perfection,  and  I 
filled  up  with  bread  and  milk.  I  thanked  her  for 
her  kindness,  jumped  on  Selim,  and  soon  found 
the  cattle  where  I  knew  they  were  when  I  left 


HE   WANTED    TO    STAY    IN    THE    HOUSE    FOR    FEAR    OF    SNOW. 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL.  25 

for  her  house ;  so  father  never  knew  I  lied  to  him 
"just  a  wee  bit." 

In  a  short  time  I  saw  Dick  and  told  him  my 
stove  story.  He  gave  me  an  incredulous  look, 
but  did  not  deny  my  statement.  I  suppose  he 
was  afraid  I  would  hurt  his  feelings  by  punching 
his  nose.  This  was  one  of  the  signs  of  the  end 
coming,  and  the  sewing-machine  story  was  an- 
other. 

This  happened  about  the  time  that  Miller's 
prophecy  that  the  world  was  to  come  to  an  end 
was  frightening  so  many  people,  and  many  were 
making  preparations  for  the  great  event.  One 
good  man  had  a  nice  pig  to  bake  for  the  Saviour's 
supper  when  He  came,  and  was  much  disap- 
pointed v/hen  told  that  He  did  not  eat  pork.  So 
the  story  went,  in  the  early  days  of  signs  and 
wonders.  This  same  devout  man,  about  that 
time,  met  an  Indian  who  wanted  to  stay  all 
night  with  him,  and  made  many  mysterious  ges- 
tures at  the  clouds,  and  down  to  the  ground,  to 
tell  white  man,  "C^ee  muckeeman,"  he  wanted 
to  stay  in  the  house  for  fear  of  snow.  The  good 
man  let  him  in,  believing  he  might  be  the 
Saviour.  He  was  at  a  great  loss  for  not  being 
able  to  speak  Hebrew,  or  understand  the  Saviour, 
and  was  surprised  that  the  Saviour  could  not 


26  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

understand  English.  After  a  while  Bill  Williams 
came  in,  and  said,  ^^ Sago,  Toivanin,^''  and  entered 
into  a  friendly  chat  with  Towanin,  the  chief  of 
the  Sac  Indians. 

Not  more  than  ninety  per  cent,  of  the  people 
living  in  America  know  anything  of  the  trials 
and  realities  of  a  Western  pioneer's  life.  It  is 
profitable  amusement  to  read  of  their  history 
when  written  by  one  whose  childhood,  youth, 
and  old  age  were  all  spent  in  the  West,  dur- 
ing the  days  of  hardships  required  to  settle  and 
civilize  a  country  in  which  your  happy  homes 
now  stand  as  monuments  of  civilization.  The 
brain  and  energy  of  that  day  are  mostly  among 
the  forgotten  dead,  but  they  fill  the  graves  of 
some  of  the  great  minds  of  America,  among 
whom  are  Boone,  Benton,  and  legions  just  as 
good.  Their  voices  are  hushed,  but  their  deeds 
are  left  on  all  the  roads  to  fame.  They  were 
the  men  and  women  who  tamed  the  savage, 
and  cleared  and  tilled  the  fields,  thus  removing 
hardship  and  danger.  They  gave  their  comforts 
for  the  generations  to  follow,  lived  on  but  little, 
stood  guard  all  the  time  until  schools  and  civili- 
zation were  planted  in  our  wild  country,  and  be- 
gan the  work  of  educating  the  minds  to  live 
another  kind  of  life.     You  are  to-day  rich  in  the 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  27 

inheritance  left  you  by  the  blood  and  sweat  of 
the  pioneer,  and  though  you  may  smile  at  his 
superstitions  and  sadness,  you  are  bound  to  re- 
spect his  memory. 

After  many  days  the  fears  aroused  by  Miller 
began  to  pass  away.  The  society  of  Millerites 
became  a  thing  of  the  past,  and  their  antics  only 
remembered  as  amusing  anecdotes. 

My  frontier  experience  varied.  I  enjoyed  ad- 
vantages which  few  did. 

My  father,  who  was  a  man  educated  to  do  all 
kinds  of  work,  w^as  a  minister,  doctor,  farmer, 
and  a  practical  millwright.  My  mother  was  a 
natural  mechanic,  and  made  cloth,  clothing,  and 
pies  to  perfection.  She  believed  "to  spare  the 
rod  would  spoil  the  child,"  and  did  use  it  in  a 
homeopathic  way.  My  father  said  if  you  wish  to 
get  meal  in  a  bag,  hold  the  mouth  open.  If  you 
wish  to  get  sense  in  your  head,  hold  it  open.  If 
you  wish  to  ride  a  horse,  get  on  his  back ;  and  if 
one  wished  to  be  a  skilful  rider,  hold  on  to  him. 
My  mother  said  if  you  wish  to  drink  milk,  put  it 
in  your  mouth,  and  not  on  your  clothes;  for 
there  was  but  one  way  to  drink  milk.  My 
father,  being  a  farmer,  concluded  that  a  little 
corn-field  education  would  be  good  with  my  mill- 
wright knowledge,  and  at  an  early  age  I  was 


28  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL. 

taught  to  hold  the  teams,  and  do  the  duties  of 
farm  life,  until  I  could  manage  teams,  harrows, 
plows,  scrapers.  When  I  came  from  the  corn- 
field for  dinner,  father  told  me  I  could  rest 
myself  by  carrying  slop  to  the  hogs.  I  did  not 
mind  the  work ;  it  was  the  exercise  that  bothered 
my  mind.  When  I  passed  old  Dan,  the  colored 
man,  he  would  say: 

"De  crown  is  for  de  faififul,"  and  many  other 
words  of  encouragement,  such  as  "Go  and 
brung  de  eggs,"  "Start  a  little  smoke  under  de 
meat,"  and  then  sing  the  "Sweet  Bye  and  Bye" 
for  my  edification.  In  due  course  of  time  I  en- 
tered my  gawk  age,  for  a  long  journey.  I  was 
awkward,  ignorant,  and  slovenly  until  I  got  into 
my  mother's  real  training-school,  in  which  she 
used  soap  and  switches  freely.  After  which  it 
seemed  I  had  more  spring  in  my  heels  and  head 
than  ever  before.  She  gave  me  two  buckets  and 
a  cup,  and  told  me  to  go  and  milk  the  cows,  and 
be  in  a  hurry  about  it,  so  as  to  help  her  and 
Dan'l  shear  the  sheep. 

By  seven  o'clock  we  were  in  the  sheep-pen. 
Old  Dan'l  says,  "Ketch  dat  sheep,"  mother  re- 
iterated, "Catch  that  sheep,"  and  Aunt  Becky 
echoed,  "Catch  me  one."  By  this  time  "old 
black  Rachel"  came  in  with  her  shears,  and  said : 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 


29 


"I  wants  one  too."  And  right  here  is  where  the 
gawk  was  knocked  out.  When  I  caught  a  sheep 
for  her,  the  old  ram  said,  "It  is  time  for  music," 
and  sprawled  me  with  his  head,  causing  me  to 


AND  SPRAWLED  ME  WITH  HIS  HEAD. 


bowl,  and  the  others  to  laugh.  This  incident 
taught  me  to  look  backward  and  forward,  up- 
ward and  downward,  right  and  left,  and  never 
sleep  in  the  enemy's  country,  but  always  be  on 
guard. 

My   instructors    thinking  I  was  well  enough 


30  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

trained  to  be. admitted  into  better  society,  I  was 
permitted  to  go  with  Dan'l  to  the  timber,  to  be 
instructed  in  chopping  wood,  splitting  rails, 
burning  brush,  and  clearing  up  the  ground  for 
the  plow.  All  went  off  well  except  once  or 
twice,  when  old  Dan'l  revived  my  see-ability  by 
playing  ram  until  I  could  see  a  limb  as  big  as 
your  finger.  He  then  closed  with  the  proverb, 
"  '  Cleanliness  is  next  to  godliness.'  I  wants  all 
dis  trash  cleaned  up,  every  moufful  of  it."  At 
noon  he  gave  the  welcome  information,  "  Come 
on,  we's  gwine  to  dinner."  When  we  came  near 
the  house,  we  met  Aunt  Becky,  and  she  told  us 
the  preacher  had  come  to  take  dinner,  and  for  me 
to  water  his  horse,  take  the  saddle  off,  curry  him 
down,  then  come  in  the  smokehouse  and  she 
would  give  me  a  piece  of  pie,  but  it  was  not 
large  as  my  hunger  was.  She  said  she  had 
something  to  tell  me. 

"What  is  it?"  I  asked. 

"Maybe  that  man  will  be  your  uncle  some 
day.  If  you  will  stay  in  the  smokehouse  and 
wait  till  the  second  table,  I  will  bring  you  out 
the  chicken  gizzard."  I  took  her  at  her  word 
and  got  the  gizzard,  and  she  got  the  preacher, 
and  became  the  wife  of  a  circuit-rider.  Not  long 
after  I  took  a  great  notion  that  I  would  be  a  cir- 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 


31 


cnit-rider,  too.  I  mounted  horses,  mules,  and 
calves,  and  tried  to  look  like  a  preacher.  My 
favorite  clerical  steed  was  a  calf  which  had  a  very 
stately  step.  I  took  him  out  to  the  meadow  with 
halter,  mounted  him,  and  began  to  play  preacher. 
All  went  well, 
and  I  was  won- 
dering where  my 
appointment 
would  be,  when 
a  snake  ran  un- 
der my  calf's 
nose,  and  spread 
all  my  preach- 
ability  before  the 
calf  on  my  back, 
and  it  has  been 
there  ever  since. 

I  will  conclude  this  chapter  of  my  boyhood  ex- 
perience with  an  incident  which,  simple  as  it 
was,  may  be  said  to  be  my  first  discovery  in  the 
science  of  Osteopathy.  Early  in  life  I  began  to 
hate  drugs. 

One  day,  when  about  ten  years  old,  I  suffered 
from  a  headache.  I  made  a  swing  of  my  father's 
plow-line  between  two  trees ;  but  my  head  hurt 
too  much  to  make  swinging  comfortable,  so  I  let 


MISHAP    OF    A    YOUNG    CIRCUIT-RIDER. 


32  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

the  rope  down  to  about  eight  or  ten  inches  of  the 
ground,  threw  the  end  of  a  blanket  on  it,  and  I 
lay  down  on  the  ground  and  used  the  rope  for  a 
swinging  pillow.  Thus  I  lay  stretched  on  my 
back,  with  my  neck  across  the  rope.  Soon  I  be- 
came eas}^  and  went  to  sleep,  got  up  in  a  little 
while  with  headache  all  gone.  As  I  knew  noth- 
ing  of   anatomy,   I  took  no  thought  of   how  a 


FIRST    LESSON    IN    OSTEOPATHT. 


rope  could  stop  headache  and  the  sick  stomach 
which  accompanied  it.  After  that  discovery  I 
roped  my  neck  whenever  I  felt  those  spells  com- 
ing on.  I  followed  that  treatment  for  twenty 
years  before  the  wedge  of  reason  reached  my 
brain,  and  I  could  see  that  I  had  suspended  the 
action  of  the  great  occipital  nerves,  and  given 
harmony  to  the  flow  of  the  arterial  blood  to  and 
through  the  veins,  and  ease  was  the  effect,  as  the 
reader  can  see.  I  have  worked  from  the  days  of 
a  child,  for  more  than  fifty  years,  to  obtain  a 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL.  33 

more  thorough  knowledge  of  the  workings  of  the 

machinery  of  life,   to  produce  ease  and  health. 

And  to-day  I  am,  as  I  have  been  for  fifty  years, 

fully  established  in  the  belief  that  the  artery  is 

the  father  of  the  rivers  of  life,  health,  and  ease, 

and  its  muddy  or  impure  water  is  first  in  all 

disease. 
3 


CHAPTEE   11. 

The  Wild  Game  of  the  Frontier — Mr.  Cochran's  Deer — The 
Deer's  Foot — Treed  by  a  Buck — I  Capture  an  Eagle — Night 
Hunting — Brother  Jim's  Horn — The  Philosophy  of  Skunks 
and  Buzzards— Milking  Under  Difficulties — Attacked  by 
Panthers. 

The  lad  of  the  frontier  enjoys  many  thrilling 
adventures  with  wild  animals  of  which  the  city 
boy  can  know  nothing  save  what  he  reads  in 
books.  If  he  is  observing  he  learns  more  of  the 
habits  and  customs  of  the  animals  he  comes  in 
contact  with  than  he  can  gain  by  a  course  in 
natural  history,  for  he  has  the  great  book  of 
nature  constantly  spread  before  him. 

Soon  after  m}'  father  moved  to  Missouri,  when 
I  was  about  eight  years  old,  I  was  amusing  my- 
self in  the  yard  with  my  younger  brothers,  three 
and  five  years  old,  when  "bang"  went  a  big  gun 
from  the  back  of  our  house,  about  a  quarter  of  a 
mile  away.  My  mother  came  running  to  us,  and 
said: 

"Did  you  hear  that  big  gun  go  off  over  west?" 
We  answered  we  did.  She  said:  "I  expect 
Judsre  Cochran  has  killed  a  buck."     He  had  said 


■      AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  35 

he  was  going  out  to  look  for  deer  at  the  spring- 
lick  where  they  came  to  drink  the  water  that 
flowed  out  of  the  hill,  and  had  promised  us  veni- 
son for  supper.  By  this  time  we  were  all  won- 
derfully excited.  We  climbed  on  the  fence, 
brother  John,  Tom,  Jim,  and  Ed,  with  mother 
and  the  little  girls  standing  in  the  door,  all  eyes 
turned  expectant  toward  the  deer-lick  about  half 
a  mile  distant.  Every  nerve  in  our  bodies  was 
on  a  perfect  strain,  with  our  eyes  wide  open  to 
see  who  could  catch  the  first  glimpse  of  Judge 
Cochran.  In  a  very  few  minutes  he  walked  to 
an  open  place  in  the  woods,  and  we  saw  him 
almost  at  the  same  instant.  I  "jumped  up  and 
down,"  and  brother  Jim  followed  my  example. 
Soon  the  Judge  was  in  the  dooryard ;  but  long 
before  he  got  there  we  asked  him  if  he  had  killed 
a  deer.     He  answered  : 

"  Yes,  I  have  killed  a  fine  buck,  and  you  can  all 
have  some  very  nice  venison,  as  I  promised,  for 
supper."  He  asked  us  if  we  had  ever  eaten  any. 
We  told  him  no,  we  had  never  seen  any,  much 
less  tasted  it. 

He  said  the  deer  was  lying  over  at  the  lick, 
and  he  would  saddle  up  a  horse  and  bring  it  in. 
When  he  mounted  his  horse  he  asked  me  if  I  did 
not   want   to   go   with   him   after   the   deer.     I 


36  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

jumped  on  behind  the  Judge,  and  away  we  went. 
In  a  few  minutes  we  were  at  the  lick,  and  dis- 
mounted by  the  dead  deer,  which  was  the  most 
wonderful  thing  I  had  ever  seen.  It  was  about 
five  feet  long,  from  the  end  of  its  nose  to  the  end 

of  its  tail,  full 
three  feet  high 
when  standing, 
and  its  tail  was 
about  one  foot 
long.  Its  feet  and 
mouth  were  very 
much  like  a 
sheep's,  except  the 
feet  were  very 
sharp-pointed.  Its 
hair  was  about  the 
color  of  an  Irish - 

THE  JUDGE  AND  I  RODE  BACK  TO  THE  HOUSE.  i  •  i 

man  s  whiskers. 
Its  legs  and  feet  were  very  nice  and  trim,  not 
much  larger  than  a  broomstick,  but  about  three 
feet  long.  I  thought,  "  Oh !  how  fast  he  could 
run,  before  he  departed  this  life  to  cheer  our 
table."  A  deer  can  jump  as  far  in  one  jump  as  a 
boy  can  in  six,  or  about  fifty  or  sixty  feet  when 
running  down  a  hill.  He  can  jump  over  a 
man's  head  and  never  touch  his  hat. 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  37 

Soon  the  Judge  and  I  were  back  to  the  house 
with  our  deer.  We  took  off  his  hide  and  hung 
him  up  in  a  tree  to  cool  off,  so  we  could  have 
some  for  breakfast.  Next  morning  we  were  out 
of  bed  bright  and  early.  Mother  cooked  a  big 
pot  full,  put  it  on  a  great  big  dish  in  the  middle 
of  the  table.  It  was  the  most  palatable  food  I 
ever  ate.  Perhaps  the  appetite  of  the  boy  and 
my  continual  exercise  made  the  meat  seem  the 
sweetest  I  ever  tasted.  Before  I  quit  the  subject 
of  deers  I  will  narrate  an  adventure  I  once  had 
with  a  wounded  buck  about  twelve  years  later, 
when  I  was  almost  a  young  man.  One  day  I 
was  out  with  my  gun  and  three  dogs,  when  I 
heard  a  noise  thrashing  through  the  brush  toward 
me,  and  soon  a  buck  came  in  sight.  He  had  nine 
points  on  each  horn,  and  was  more  than  three 
times  as  large  as  the  one  Judge  Cochran  killed. 
I  began  to  realize  the  danger  of  an  encounter 
with  such  a  monster,  if  I  missed  my  mark. 
Realizing  that  if  I  killed  him  I  was  safe,  and  if  I 
missed  him  he  would  kill  me  unless  my  dogs 
could  save  me,  I  raised  my  gun  when  he  was 
within  a  few  feet.  Bang  went  my  gun,  and 
down  went  the  buck.  "Hallelujah!  Tom,  I've 
got  him !"  By  this  time  mj'  brother  Tom  was 
within  fifty  yards  of  me.     I  walked  toward  the 


38 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 


supposing  him  dead,  but  when  I  got  very 
gr,   close,  to  my  amazement  he 
^f  raised  his  head   for   fight. 
There  was  no  time  to  par- 
ley, so  I  climbed  a  tree  in 
less  than  no  time,  and  had 
presence   of   mind  to  take 
my   gun  with   me.     From 
my    perch    I    loaded    and 
fired    until   I   killed    him. 
My  three  dogs  were   pull- 
ing  away  at   him  all   the 
while,   and   I    had   to   use 
great  caution  to  shoot 
the  deer   without   kill- 
ing my  dogs,   for  they 
and     the     deer    were 


t  HAD  TO  USE  GREAT  CAUTION  TO  SHOOT  THE  DESB  WTTHOCT   KILLING 
KY  DOGS. 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 


39 


fighting  for  life.  I  have  since  seen  men  grapple 
in  a  death  struggle,  but  don't  believe  I  ever  wit- 
nessed a  more  desperate  encounter.  I  was  not 
the  first  man  who  had  shot  him,  for  when  I 
skinned  him  I  found  eleven  balls  that  had  pene- 
trated his  hide, 
all  failing  to 
reach  a  vital 
point. 

One  night 
when  it  was 
very  dark  and 
the  snow  falling 
fast,  I  was  two 
miles  from  home 
with  neither  gun 
nor  dogs.  On 
looking  up  in  a 
tree,  not  over  fif- 
teen or  twenty  feet  high,  I  saw  an  object, 
but  could  not  tell  what  it  was,  so  I  picked  up 
a  club  and  threw  it  into  the  tree-top.  I  had 
a  knife  in  my  belt,  which  I  drew  to  do  the  best  I 
could  if  that  object  proved  a  panther  or  any 
other  dangerous  animal,  I  hit  it  with  my  club 
and  down  it  came  to  the  ground.  It  seemed  to 
square  itself  for  a  fight,  and  seizing  another  club, 


I  HAD  CAPTURED  AN  EAGLE. 


40  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL. 

I  pressed  the  object  down  and  got  my  foot  on  it. 
The  night  was  so  dark  that  I  could  not  tell  until 
I  felt  the  object  with  my  hand  that  I  had  cap- 
tured an  eagle,  which  measured  seven  feet  two 
inches  from  tip  to  tip,  while  from  head  to  end  of 
tail  it  was  three  feet  long.  The  back  claws  on 
each  foot  measured  three  inches  and  three- 
quarters,  with  legs  as  large  as  broomsticks.  I 
took  him  under  my  arm,  held  his  feet,  and  got 
him  home  safe  and  sound.  On  another  night  I 
brought  in  two  large  bald  eagles.  If  you 
frighten  an  eagle  after  night  he  will  always  come 
to  the  ground,  and  can  be  captured  with  ease. 

My  father  owned  a  farm  and  raised  a  large 
amount  of  corn,  and  had  a  great  many  horses, 
mules,  cattle,  sheep,  and  hogs  to  feed  on  it,  so 
our  crops  were  consumed  at  home.  We  had  so 
much  corn  to  husk  and  crib  that  we  were  com- 
pelled to  commence  very  early,  in  order  to  get  it 
stored  away  before  cold  weather.  When  we 
were  all  in  our  teens,  my  eldest  brother  nineteen, 
the  next  seventeen,  and  myself  about  fifteen,  we 
gathered  corn  from  early  morn  till  late  in  the 
evening,  fed  the  stock,  ate  our  supj)ers,  and  pre- 
pared for  a  good  hunt  for  coons,  foxes,  opossums, 
and  skunks.  We  always  took  a  gun,  an  ax,  big 
butcher-knife,  and  flint  and  steel  to  make  fire. 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL.  4l 

We  had  a  polished  cow's  horn  which  we  could 
blow  as  loud  as  the  horn  that  overthrew  the  walls 
of  Jericho.  As  brother  Jim  was  a  great  talker, 
we  made  him  chief  horn-blower.  He  went  into 
the  yard,  and  bracing  himself,  tooted  and  tooted 
and  split  the  air  for  miles,  while  the  dogs  collected 
around  him  and  roared  and  howled.  You  never 
heard  such  sweet  music  as  brother  Jim  and  the 
dogs  made.  Shortly  after  his  melodies  began, 
we  were  in  line  of  march,  front,  middle  and  rear 
rank,  and  soon  journeyed  to  the  woods  to  hunt 
opossums,  polecats,  coons,  wildcats,  foxes,  and 
turkeys.  Our  dogs  had  a  classic  education, 
hunting  and  killing  all  classes  of  "varmints." 
When  on  a  coon  hunt  we  kept  back  all  the  dogs 
with  us  but  two,  Drum  and  Eouser.  The  roofs 
of  their  mouths  were  black,  their  ears  long  and 
thin,  their  tails  very  slim.  If  we  wanted  coons 
first,  we  told  Jim  to  toot  for  coons,  which  he 
could  do  very  nicely.  At  his  sound  of  music. 
Drum  and  Eouser  moved  off  in  the  darkness,  and 
after  some  minutes  Drum  was  sure  to  break  the 
silence  by  yelping  and  roaring  on  the  track.  The 
bark  of  the  dog  indicated  to  our  trained  ear  the 
kind  of  game  he  was  after.  If  he  barked  slow 
and  loud  we  were  pretty  sure  he  had  treed  a 
coon;  if  he  barked  quick  and  sharp,  we  booked 


42  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

him  for  a  fox.  If  he  barked  fast  and  loud  we 
could  count  on  a  polecat.  In  case  it  was  a 
skunk  we  ran  to  the  dogs  as  fast  as  possible,  and 
ordered  Jim  at  the  same  time  to  blow  the  horn 
to  call  them  off,  for  if  they  ever  got  the  skunk's 
perfume  on  them  it  was  so  stinking  strong  the 
scent  of  the  animak  was  destroyed  for  other 
game.  Sometimes  a  young  untrained  dog  had 
the  temerity  to  take  hold  of  a  skunk  and  spoil 
the  hunt,  so  that  all  that  was  left  for  us  was  to 
let  the  bugle  sound  the  retreat,  and  go  home. 
The  skunk  possesses  two  wonderful  powers:  he 
can  stink  louder  and  faster  than  any  other  known 
animal ;  and  if  you  do  not  kill  him  within  a  few 
hours  he  will  absorb  all  of  his  disgusting  odors  and 
go  away ;  such  is  the  power  and  quality  placed  in 
him  by  nature.  I  would  advise  you  to  never  kill 
a  skunk,  unless  you  leave  his  body  just  where  he 
falls.  By  so  doing  the  stench  will  disappear  in  a 
very  short  time.  In  him  you  have  one  of  the 
finest  lessons  of  nature:  he  gives  forth  only  what 
he  absorbs  from  his  surroundings. 

The  polecat  is  the  skunk  of  the  ground,  and 
stinks  worse  than  any  other  animal.  The  buz- 
zard is  the  skunk  of  the  air,  with  but  very  little 
improvement  in  his  stinking  powers  above  the 
skunk   of  the  ground.     His  tongue  is  wonder- 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  43 

fully  constructed  for  cutting  and  tearing  flesh; 
otherwise  his  head  and  beak  are  formed  just  as 
a  common  turkey.  Thus  nature  has  provided 
amply  for  all  things  by  which  they  move,  defend 
themselves,  and  live,  from  the  mighty  lions  of 
the  jungles  to  the  ant  of  the  ground. 

About  the  year  1852  I  killed  a  great  number  of 
deer.  I  skinned,  salted,  and  dried  the  meat, 
supplying  not  only  myself,  but  my  neighbors 
with  all  they  wanted.  One  afternoon  I  killed 
a  very  fine  young  deer,  brought  him  home, 
and  put  him  in  the  smokehouse.  My  clothes, 
saddle,  and  horse  were  badly  stained  with  the 
blood  of  the  animal.  It  being  late  after  chang- 
ing clothes,  I  took  a  bucket  and  went  to  a  lot  ad- 
joining my  stable  to  milk  my  cow.  In  the  lot  I 
had  about  twenty  large  hogs.  I  sat  down,  and 
was  milking  the  cow,  when  all  at  once  the  hogs 
jumped  up  and  ran  to  the  farther  side  of  the  lot, 
snifiSng  the  air  in  great  terror.  I  looked  to  see 
the  cause  of  their  flight,  and  there  in  plain  view, 
within  thirty  feet  of  me,  stood  a  monster  panther 
not  less  than  nine  or  ten  feet  from  the  point  of 
his  nose  to  the  end  of  his  tail,  and  fully  three 
feet  high.  I  was  milking  in  a  tin  bucket,  which 
made  a  great  deal  of  noise,  so  he  did  not  molest 
either  myself  or  the  hogs,  but  jumped  out  of  the 


44 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL. 


pen  and  ran  to  the  timber.  Then  he  began  to 
roar  and  scream  like  a  woman  in  distress.  I  was 
very  fond  of  his  music,  but  the  farther  it  was 
away  the  sweeter  it  sounded.  I  am  glad  he 
didn't  think  enough  of  me  to  spend  any  more 
time  in  my  company  than  he  did.  No  doubt  it 
was  the  blood  on 
the  horse  and  sad- 
dle   that    brought 


THERE  WITHIN    PLAIN  VIEW 
WAS  A  MONSTER  PANTHER. 


him  there.     I  did 
not    ask    him, 
and  only  guessed 
that  he  came  for  a  haunch  of  venison. 

One  day  while  driving  home  in  my  ox-wagon 
I  came  upon  three  panthers  in  the  road, — two  old 
beasts  and  a  young  one.  I  had  neither  rifle  nor 
knife  to  defend  myself,  and  had  they  attacked 
me  they  would  have  killed  my  oxen  and  myself. 
My  dogs  saw  the  dangerous  brutes,  and  made  a 
bold  charge  upon  them,  and  they  ran  up  a  tree. 
No  doubt  they  had  seated  themselves  to  feast 
upon  my  oxen.     Even   when  they  had  reached 


I    CRACKED    MY    WHIP,    AND   THEY    SPRANG    OUT    OF    THE    TREE-TOP    AND 
RAN    OFF    IN  THE   WOODS. 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  45 

safety  in  the  tree-top,  they  cast  fierce,  hungry 
glances  at  us. 

I  cracked  my  whip,  which  sounded  very  much 
like  a  pistol,  and  they  sprang  out  of  the  tree-top 
and  ran  off  into  the  thick  woods.  I  drove  my 
oxen  home  in  a  hurry,  every  hair  on  my  head 
feeling  as  stiff  as  a  knitting-needle,  and  I  never 
had  any  more  desire  to  encounter  panthers. 

My  frontier  experience  was  valuable  to  me  in 
more  ways  than  I  can  ever  tell.  It  was  invalu- 
able in  my  scientific  researches.  Before  I  had 
ever  studied  anatomy  from  books  I  had  almost 
perfected  the  knowledge  from  the  great  book  of 
nature.  The  skinning  of  squirrels  brought  me 
into  contact  with  muscles,  nerves,  and  veins. 
The  bones,  this  great  foundation  of  the  wonder- 
ful house  we  live  in,  was  always  a  study  to  me 
long  before  I  learned  the  hard  names  given  to 
them  by  the  scientific  world.  As  the  skull  of 
the  horse  was  used  at  my  first  school  as  a  seat 
for  the  indolent  scholar,  I  have  thought  it  might 
be  typical  of  the  good  horse-sense  that  led  me  to 
go  to  the  fountain-head  of  knowledge  and  there 
learn  the  lesson  that  drugs  are  dangerous  to  the 
body,  and  the  science  of  medicine  just  what  some 
great  physicians  have  declared  it  to  be, — a  hum- 
bug. 


46  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

But  I  am  digressing  from  the  purpose  of  this 
chapter,  which  is  to  give  some  of  my  adventures 
during  my  early  days  on  the  frontier.  My  ad- 
ventures were  not  confined  alone  to  panthers, 
deers,  skunks,  and  coons.  We  had  an  enemy  far 
more  subtle  and  dangerous  than  either.  His 
fang  was  poisonous  and  his  bite  often  death.  I 
refer  to  the  snakes  of  Missouri  in  an  early  day. 

I  have  killed  thousands  of  them,  big  and  little, 
long  and  short,  from  ten  feet  in  length  to  six 
inches,  and  all  colors,  red,  black,  blue,  green, 
copper,  spotted, — dangerous  and  harmless.  They 
were  so  abundant  in  the  timber  and  prairie  coun- 
try in  the  early  days  that  it  was  necessary  to 
carry  a  club  about  the  size  of  a  common  walking- 
stick,  three  or  four  feet  long,  as  protection.  All 
persons  carried  something  in  their  hands  to  kill 
snakes  during  the  warm  weather.  Many  kinds 
were  YeTj  poisonous.  I  remember  a  man  named 
Smith  Montgomery  w^ho  was  bitten  on  the  foot  in 
the  harvest-field,  while  he  was  at  work  bare- 
footed. The  snake's  tooth  penetrated  a  vein 
which  carries  the  blood  to  the  heart,  and  he 
cried : 

"I  am  bitten  by  a  rattlesnake!"  walked 
toward  the  other  men,  but  after  taking  about  six 
steps   sank    to   the   ground    and   was  instantly 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  47 

dead.  The  poison  of  the  rattlesnake  produces  a 
numb  feeling,  which  runs  all  through  the  body, 
and  the  lungs  and  heart  cease  to  move  as  soon 
as  the  blood  is  conveyed  to  the  heart  and  the 
poison  gets  into  the  large  blood-vessels. 

Rattlesnakes  are  stubborn  antagonists.  I 
have  formed  a  ring  of  hay  about  a  foot  high, 
set  it  on  fire,  and  when  in  full  blaze  all  over,  at 
the  very  hottest  time,  have  thrown  the  rattle- 
snake in  that  ring  of  fire.  He  would  fight  and 
squirm  until  he  was  as  stiff  as  a  walking-stick, 
and  only  ceased  when  his  body  was  cooked. 
Thus  you  see  he  is  grit  to  the  very  last. 

As  I  was  traveling  through  some  timber-land 
with  my  friend  Jim  Jessee,  we  saw  in  front  of  us  a 
very  large  rattlesnake,  six  feet  in  length.  I  pro- 
posed to  Jim  to  have  some  fun  out  of  the  gentle- 
man. I  drew  my  knife  from  my  belt,  cut  down 
and  trimmed  up  a  bush,  left  the  upper  limb  so  as 
to  make  a  fork,  with  which  I  straddled  his  neck, 
while  with  other  sticks  I  opened  his  mouth  and 
filled  it  with  hartshorn  (aqua  ammonia) ;  then  we 
let  him  loose  and  stepped  back  to  see  the  fun. 
To  our  great  surprise  he  never  cut  a  caper.  The 
ammonia  had  done  its  work  instantaneously.  I 
tied  his  tail  to  a  bush,  thinking  he  might  be  only 
temporarily  inactive.     At  the  end  of  six  hours  I 


48  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

returned  to  find  him  dead  and  in  possession  of 
the  green  flies.  By  that  experiment  I  learned 
that  ammonia  would  destroy  the  snake's  deadly 
virus.  In  all  cases  of  snake-bite,  after  that,  I 
always  used  ammonia  as  an  antidote,  and  if  it 
was  not  handy  I  would  use  soda  or  some  other 
alkali  with  equal  success,  but  not  so  active.  I 
would  advise  you  to  always  have  a  little  am- 
monia or  soda  in  your  pocket  when  going  among 
snakes.  And  if  your  dog  should  go  mad  while 
out  snake-hunting  and  bite  you,  apply  sulphuric 
acid  three  parts  water,  and  the  virus  will  do  you 
no  harm,  as  it  is  alkali,  and  will  yield  to  acids.  I 
once  treated  a  girl  bitten  by  a  rabid  dog  on  the 
face,  leaving  two  cuts  two  inches  long,  with  sul- 
phuric acid  for  ten  days.  Her  face  healed,  and 
she  is  still  alive,  and  though  this  was  thirty  years 
ago,  has  never  shown  any  signs  of  rabies,  while 
all  the  stock  bitten  by  same  dog  went  mad. 

During  the  year  1847,  when  the  United  States 
and  old  Mexico  were  fighting  like  two  she-tigers, 
I  wanted  to  go  to  fight  Mexicans.  Being  under 
age,  my  father  would  not  consent  to  my  going 
into  the  service.  One  day  while  riding  on  horse- 
back I  was  boiling  over  with  fight,  when  my 
blood  was  at  its  highest  heat,  and  I  felt  that  I 
could  thrash  all  such  fellows  as  Samson,  John 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  49 

Sullivan,  Fitzsimmons,  and  Corbett, — I  raised  my 
head  and  looked  in  front  of  me  about  one  hun- 
dred paces.  I  saw  something  lying  across  the 
road  which  I  took  to  be  a  fence-rail  or  a  pole 
about  three  or  four  inches  in  diameter.  I  gave 
no  farther  thought  of  it  until  I  had  traveled 
about  the  distance  to  where  I  thought  I  had  seen 
it.  I  looked  backward  and  forward  in  search  of 
my  pole,  but  it  had  disappeared,  and  as  it  was  a 
very  hot  day,  I  began  to  wonder  if  I  had  been 
asleep  and  seen  a  pole  in  my  dream.  A  few 
more  steps  brought  me  up  to  a  place  in  the  road 
which  was  very  dusty,  and  I  was  dumfounded  to 
see  the  track  of  the  snake  in  the  road. 

The  imprint  in  the  soft  dust  was  about  an  inch 
deep  and  something  over  a  foot  wide.  On  dis- 
covering it  was  a  snake-track  without  mistake  I 
knew  I  could  get  war  and  plenty  of  it  without 
going  to  Mexico.  I  rode  out  in  the  weeds,  which 
were  about  a  foot  high,  in  the  direction  I  thought 
I  was  most  likely  to  find  him.  I  found  Mr. 
Snake  coiled  up ;  coil,  snake,  and  all  would  easily 
have  filled  a  half-bushel.  He  raised  his  head  two 
feet  in  the  air,  and  fixed  those  basilisk  orbs  on  me 
— about  three  inches  across,  just  back  of  the  eyes. 
I  knew  well  enough  if  this  snake  was  ten  feet 
long  he  could   jump  his  length.      To  run   was 


60  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

cowardice,  to  fight  was  dangerous.  The  thought 
came  in  my  mind,  How  will  it  look  in  a  young 
man  who  wants  to  fight  all  Mexico  to  back  out 
and  run  from  a  snake?  I  had  seen  the  snake, 
and  could  not  tell  mother  it  had  run  off  and  I 
could  not  find  it.  In  desperation  I  took  the  stir- 
rup-strap off  my  saddle,  to  which  was  attached  a 
very  heavy  iron  stirrup,  and  with  a  great  amount 
of  emotion  in  both  legs  approached  the  general 
commanding  the  opposite  side.  He  had  ordered 
music  by  the  band,  which  band  was  twenty-nine 
rattles  fastened  to  the  rear  rank  of  his  whole 
army.  I  gave  the  command  in  a  low  whisper  to 
strike.  With  a  circuitous  swing  with  strap  and 
stirrup,  which  w^eighed  about  one  pound  and  a 
half,  I  unjoin  ted  the  general's  neck  and  took  his 
whole  army  prisoners.  I  lined  it  up  on  dress 
parade,  and  found  he  was  three  full  steps  long 
and  one  foot  over,  with  twenty -nine  rattles, 
which  equal  seven  inches,  making  the  snake  a 
fraction  over  ten  feet  long.  Thus  ended  the 
greatest  snake  fight  I  ever  had. 

As  the  snake  is  an  emblem  of  poison,  and  as 
all  drugs  are  poison,  this  conflict  may  be  said  to 
be  the  first  conflict  between  Osteopathy  and 
poison,  in  which  Osteopathy  came  off  victorious. 


FIRST   CONFLICT    BETWEEN    DRUGS    AND   OSTEOPATHY. 


CHAPTER   III. 


My  Father — Transferred  to  Missouri — Long  Journey— The 
First  Steamboat— At  St.  Louis— An  Unscrupulous  Divine 
— Hardships  in  The  West — The  First  Methodist  Preacher 
in  Northeast  Missouri — Presiding  Elder — Trouble  in  the 
M.  E.  Church— Stand  Taken  by  Elder  Abram  Still— Re- 
moval to  Kansas. 

As  I  speak  of  Eev.  Abram  Still  (my  father),  I 
will  notify  the  reader  that  memory  alone  is  my 
guide,  and  by  it 
give  my  general- 
ized history.  The 
r  e  m  i  n  i  scences  I 
find  written  of 
him  by  others  are 
simply  nice  stories, 
written  by  persons 
who  person  ally 
knew  but  little  of 
him. 

In  the  spring  of 
1836,  as  I  now  re- 
member, while  fa- 
ther  was   a  member  of   the  Holston  conference 
of     the    M.    E.    Church   of   Tennessee,    he    was 


REV.   ABRAM  STILIi. 


52  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

transferred  by  that  body  to  Missouri  as  a  mis- 
sionary. 

We  left  Tennessee  from  New  Market,  Jeffer- 
son County,  with  two  wagons,  seven  horses,  and 
eight  in  family,  and  began  an  overland  journey 
of  seven  weeks  to  Macon  County,  Mo.  We  had 
a  pleasant  time,  good  roads,  and  nice  travel- 
ing until  we  reached  the  low  land  on  the  Ohio- 
Eiver  bottoms  opposite  Cairo,  111.  Here  we 
began  to  find  some  deep  mud  for  a  few  miles 
until  we  reached  the  river.  But  long  before  we 
reached  it,  we  heard  the  whistle  of  a  steamboat. 
We  all  wanted  to  see  the  mouth  that  could 
pucker  and  whistle  so  squealing  loud.  "  Oh,  my ! 
we  could  hear  it  roar  just  as  plain  as  you  could 
hear  a  rooster  crow  if  he  were  on  top  your  head." 
Just  think  of  that !  Meeting  a  man  in  the  road, 
father  asked  how  far  it  was  to  the  river,  and  he 
said  it  was  six  or  seven  miles.  We  whipped  up 
all  the  teams  and  pushed  on,  for  we  were  deter- 
mined to  see  that  boat, — see  it  pucker  its  mouth 
and  whistle.  Our  ideas  of  steam  were  very 
crude,  and  we  had  much  company  then  of  the 
kind  that  knew  but  little  of  steam-engines  or 
any  other  kind  of  machinery. 

We  drove  up  to  the  banks  of  the  river,  and 
there  it  was,   big  as  life,  full  of  people,  cattle, 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  53 

horses,  sheep,  merchandise,  and  movers, — but 
they  cut  no  figure  with  us.  The  boat  was  the 
sight;  we  saw  it,  and  knew  all  that  could  be 
known.  We  had  seen  a  real  steamboat,  and  it 
was  a  whopper,  too. 

It  soon  steamed  up  the  river  and  went  out  of 
sight,  but  we  supposed  we  knew  all  about  steam- 
boats, and  this  one  afforded  food  for  conversation 
for  many  days  after. 

We  were  now  ready  to  go  to  North  Missouri 
as  missionaries,  and  educate  the  heathens,  and 
tell  them  all  about  steam. 

We  were  taken  across  the  river  by  a  ferry- 
boat which  ran  by  horse-power,  or  a  tread  wheel; 
the  driver  whipped  his  horse,  shouting : 

"Water  up!  water  up!"  to  make  them  go 
faster. 

In  about  one-half  hour  we  landed  in  the  State 
of  Illinois,  and  set  out  through  the  mud  and 
water  from  Cairo  to  St.  Louis.  We  had  to  hire 
pilots  to  guide  us  through  the  mud  and  water  of 
the  Illinois  bottoms,  for  by  missing  the  road  a 
few  feet  we  would  sink  into  the  mire  and  never 
get  out. 

We  crossed  the  State  of  Illinois  with  no  bad 
luck,  and  drove  up  to  the  Mississippi  Eiver  in 
sight  of  St.  Louis,  went  on  to  a  steam  ferry-boat 


54 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 


that  landed  us  on  the  Missouri  side  of  that 
muddy  stream.  We  concluded  to  stay  a  day  or 
two  and  hunt  up  the  stationed  preacher  of  the 
M.  E.  Church  of  that  place.  We  found  him, 
and  stayed  over  Sunday,  as  was  father's  custom. 
I  believe  his  name  was  Harmon.      He  borrowed 

"Brother  Still's" 
money,  seven  hundred 
dollars.  Father  took 
his  note  without  se- 
curity, payable  in  six 
months,  and  left  for 
Macon  County,  Mo., 
with  Brother  Harmon's 
"God  bless  you." 
Mother  had  a  little  bag 
of  money  ($350),  and 
that  was  our  pile  for 
the  wilderness  life  be- 
fore us  for  six  months  or  longer.  Brother  Har- 
mon did  not  pay  father  for  eight  years,  then 
only  paid  the  principal.  By  this  time  fa- 
ther learned  that  some  preachers  were  not 
men  of  God,  but  dirty  liars,  just  the  same  as 
other  people.  He  was  very  much  disap- 
pointed and  disgusted  to  learn  that  a  pro- 
fessed  minister   would   play  a   confidence  game 


MRS.    MARTHA   P.    STILL. 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  55 

and  rob  him  of  the  money  given  him  by  the 
Tennessee  Conference  to  support  his  family 
in  his  missionary  work  in  the  wilds  of  North 
Missouri.  Hard  times  soon  began  to  close  upon 
us.  Money  all  gone,  clothing  worn  out,  and 
winter  on  us  with  all  its  fury.  Our  show  for 
shoes  was  to  tan  deerskins  and  make  moccasins, 
or  go  barefooted — deerskin  pants  or  naked  legs. 
Labor  by  the  day  was  worth  twenty-five  cents, 
so  you  see  money  meant  much  work. 

As  I  have  stated  in  another  chapter,  in  the  be- 
ginning we  had  no  schools,  churches,  nor  any  of 
the  comforts  of  older-settled  States.  We  had  to 
make  all  our  comforts  or  do  without  them  for 
many  years.  But  we  brought  grit  with  us,  and 
went  to  work  with  a  will. 

Father  worked  with  us  three  boys  all  he  could 
in  the  spring,  and  harvest-time  gave  us  a  start  in 
our  work ;  then  mounting  his  horse,  started 
across  the  wild  prairies  to  preach  the  Gospel  to 
the  pioneers.  His  missionary  journeys  usually 
lasted  six  weeks.  During  his  absence,  mother 
had  to  manage  the  farm,  which  she  did  as  well 
as  any  one  could.  She  spun,  wove,  cut  and  made 
clothing,  butchered  hogs  or  a  beef,  and  managed 
it  just  as  well  as  father,  or  a  little  better,  for  she 
was  fully  master  of  the  situation. 


56 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 


Father  was  the  first  minister  of  the  M.  E. 
Church  in  North  Missouri,  and  held  the  fort, 
preached  and  established  the  first  churches  and 
classes  of  Methodists  and  Methodism  in  all  North 
Missouri.      He  stood  his  ground  until  1844,  at 


STABTED  ACROSS  THE  WILD 
PRAIRIE  TO  PREACH  THK 
GOSPEL  TO  THE  PIONEERS. 


which  time  the  M.  E.  Church  was  divided; 
those  that  believed  the  Bible  justified  human 
slavery  left  the  old  M.  E.  organization  and 
organized  the  church  known  as  the  M.  E. 
Church  South. 

Father  did  not  believe  that  "human  slavery 
was  of  Divine  origin,"  and  refused  to  go  with  the 
new  church.     Committees  of  the  M.  E.  Church 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  57 

South  waited  on  him  to  induce  him  to  go  with 
them,  but  all  was  of  no  avail.  He  stayed  with 
the  old  church,  and  preached  that  slavery  was  a 
sin,  which  did  not  suit  his  brethren  with  the  pro- 
slavery  sentiments.  He  attached  himself  to  the 
Iowa  conference  of  the  M.  E.  Church,  and  was 
appointed  Presiding  Elder  (as  I  now  remember) 
to  look  after  those  Missouri  Methodists  who  op- 
posed slavery.  His  brothers  who  went  with  the 
new  organization  informed  him  he  must  join 
them  or  leave  Missouri,  as  his  anti-slavery  teach- 
ings could  not  be  tolerated ;  but  he  did  not  heed 
their  warning,  and  after  a  few  year's  preaching 
in  his  old  territory,  where  he  had  established 
Methodism,  he  was  appointed  as  missionary  to 
the  Shawnee  Indians  in  Kansas.  This  ended 
his  fight  in  Missouri.  The  latter  part  of  that 
struggle  was  full  of  bitterness,  and  tar  and 
feathers  were  strong  arguments  at  that  time 
freely  used,  which,  not  being  strong  enough, 
gave  place  to  ropes  and  bullets. 

He  was  a  man  of  strong  convictions,  which 
he  maintained  at  all  times  and  places.  He  took 
a  bold  stand  for  abolition,  which  he  maintained 
until  he  saw  human  slavery  wiped  from  every 
foot  of  North  America,  whether  it  was  Divine  or 
devilish,  and  died  rejoicing  that  he  had  been  per- 


58  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

mitted  to   live  to  see   all   men  in   his   country, 
whether  white  or  black,  free. 

I  could  give  much  history  of  his  life  from  1844 
until  he  moved  to  Kansas,  such  as  being  threat- 
ened with  violence,  having  his  cane  broken  by 
the  enemies  of  his  religious  stand  with  the  M.  E. 
Church,  in  the  belief  that  he  might  have  a  spear 
cane  to  defend  himself,  and  much  more  of  the 
wars  of  the  heated  prejudice  and  church  disputes, 
but  I  think  I  have  said  enough  for  the  reader  to 
know  the  character  of  the  man  and  the  time  in 
which  he  lived. 


CHAPTER   IV. 

In  Which  I  Take  a  Wife— The  lufair— A  Destructive  Hail- 
Storm — At  Wakarusa  Mission— Bereavement — The  Pro- 
Slaverj'  Trouble — A  Dangerous  Eide — The  Pro-Slavery 
Men  Drilling — My  fjegislative  Erperience. 

The  schoolboy  days,  the  days  of  youthful  trials 
and  sports,  passed  like  vanished  joys,  and  I  arrived 
at  man's  estate.  I  will  omit  my  later  schooling 
and  medical  training,  and  merely  state  that,  like 
my  Father  who  art  in  heaven,  I  thought  it  not 
good  to  be  alone,  and  began  to  go  on  dress  parade, 
to  see  how  the  girls  would  like  the  looks  of  a 
young  soldier.  Like  Bunyan,  I  shouldered  my 
arms  and  marked  time  until  a  loving  eye  was 
fixed  on  mine.  Behind  that  eye  was  the  form  of 
Mary  M.  Vaughn,  the  daughter  of  Philamon 
Vaughn.  She  was  to  me  beautiful,  kind,  active, 
and  abounded  in  love  and  good  sense.  She  loved 
God  and  all  His  ways.  After  a  few  words  by 
Rev.  Lorenzo  Waugh  at  her  mother's  house  on 
January  29th,  1 849,  her  name  was  changed  to  Mrs. 
M.  M.  Still.  The  memorable  event  was  followed 
by  a  good  supper,  and  next  day  we  journeyed  for 
an  infair  dinner  to   my  father's   house.     After 


60  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

these  formalities,  so  essential  to  frontier  society, 
I  took  my  wife  to  her  new  home,  on  eighty  acres 
of  land  one  mile  from  my  old  home.  I  was 
young  and  stout,  worked  early  and  late,  put  in 
sixty  acres  of  corn  and  kept  it  clean.  It  was  a 
beauty,  all  in  silk  and  tassel.  I  was  proud  of  it. 
I  began  to  feel  that  I  would  soon  have  a  crib 
filled  with  many  thousand  bushels.  The  morn- 
ing of  the  Fourth  of  July  (the  day  we  love  to 
celebrate)  came,  and  I  was  full  of  joy  and  hope. 
At  3  P.M.  a  dark  cloud  arose,  and  at  4  show- 
ered three  inches  of  hail  over  every  acre  of  my 
corn,  not  leaving  a  single  stalk  nor  a  blade  of 
fodder  in  all  my  sixty  acres.  Nor  did  it  leave  a 
bird  or  rabbit  on  my  farm.  All  were  gone. 
Some  one  consoled  me  and  himself  by  the  follow- 
ing quotation  :  "  The  Lord  loveth  whom  He  chas- 
teneth,"  I  had  no  corn,  and  he,  whose  crop  was 
not  torn  to  shreds  like  mine,  would  have  some  to 
sell,  so  after  all,  things,  as  usual,  were  about 
evened  up.  I  taught  school  that  fall  and  winter 
at  $15  per  month,  and  thus  ended  my  first  year 
of  married  life. 

In  May,  1853,  my  wife  and  I  moved  to  the 
Wakarusa  Mission,  Kans.,  occupied  by  the  Shaw- 
nee tribe.  It  was  all  Indian  there.  There  was 
not   much   English    spoken  outside  the  mission- 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL.  61 

school.  My  wife  taught  the  pappooses  that 
summer,  while  I  with  six  yoke  of  oxen  in  a 
string,  fastened  to  a  twenty-inch  plow,  turned 
ninety  acres  of  land,  closing  the  job  the  last  of 
July.  Some  days  I  broke  four  acres  of  sod. 
Then  with  my  father  I  doctored  the  Indians  all 
fall.  The  erysipelas,  fever,  flux,  pneumonia,  and 
cholera  prevailed  among  the  Indians.  The  In- 
dian's treatment  for  cholera  was  not  much  more 
ridiculous  than  are  some  of  the  treatments  of  some 
of  the  so-called  scientific  doctors  of  medicine. 
They  dug  two  holes  in  the  ground,  about  twenty 
inches  apart.  The  patient  lay  stretched  over  the 
two, — vomit  in  one  hole  and  purge  in  the  other, 
and  die  stretched  over  the  two,  thus  prepared, 
with  a  blanket  thrown  over  him.  Here  I  wit- 
nessed cramps  which  go  with  cholera  dislocate 
hips  and  turn  legs  out  from  the  body.  I  some- 
times had  to  force  the  hips  back  to  get  the  corpse 
in  the  coffin.  As  curatives  they  gave  teas  made 
of  black-root,  ladies'  thumb,  sagatee,  muck- 
quaw,  chenee  olachee.  Thus  they  doctored  and 
died,  and  went  to  Illinoywa  Tapamalaqua,  "the 
house  of  God." 

I  soon  learned  to  speak  their  tongue,  and  gave 
them  such  drugs  as  white  men  used,  cured  most 
of  the  cases  I  met,  and  was  well  received  by  the 


62  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

Shawnees.  T  was  at  the  Shawnee  missioD  of  the 
M.  E.  Church,  located  forty  miles  west  of  Kansas 
City  on  the  Wakarusa,  now  east  of  Lawrence, 
Kansas,  about  six  miles.  A  treaty  was  made  in 
1854  with  the  Shawnees  and  other  tribes  of  In- 
dians, in  which  treaty  the  Government  purchased 
much  of  the  Indian  lands  which  were  declared 
open  to  white  settlement.  In  1855  the  country 
was  alive  with  home  hunters,  though  some 
squatters  came  into  the  territory  in  1854.  After 
the  treaty  was  made,  people  began  to  settle  up 
the  country.  Then  my  wife,  who  had  shared  my 
misfortunes,  trials,  and  sorrows,  and  had  lived 
with  me  until  September  29th,  1859,  at  which 
time  the  thread  of  life  was  cut,  and  she  soared  to 
that  world  of  love  and  glory  for  which  she  had 
lived  all  her  life,  left  me  to  care  for  her  three 
children.  Two  of  them  have  since  gone  to  join 
her.  The  eldest,  Kusha  H.,  at  the  age  of  eigh- 
teen years,  was  married  to  John  W.  Cowgill,  of 
Ottawa,  Kansas,  and  at  the  present  time  is  living 
on  a  farm  near  that  place.  Since  our  friends  by 
legions  become  celestial  beings,  and  to  be  with 
them  any  more  in  this  life  is  hopeless,  we  are  left 
to  make  the  best  of  the  few  years  left  to  us  in  this 
world,  and  seek  the  company  of  the  terrestrial 
beings.     Some  are  angels  of  mercy,  love,  wisdom, 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  63 

and  kindness,  and  say,  Come  unto  me  and  I  will 
heip  you  bear  the  burden  of  life,  which  has  been 
proven  to  me  to  be  true  in  one  Mary  E.  Turner, 
who  on  November  20th,  1860,  became  Mrs.  Mary 
E.  Still.  She  is  the  mother  of  four  children  liv- 
ing,— three  boys  and  one  girl.  All  are  leaders  in 
the  division  of  the  greatest  war  ever  known  on 
earth — the  war  for  truth  under  the  banner  of 
Osteopathy. 

But  to  return  to  my  narrative,  and  in  order  to 
do  so  it  will  be  necessary  to  briefly  recount  some 
of  the  history  of  the  period. 

About  1835  some  of  the  good  people  began  to 
argue  that  human  slavery  was  an  evil,  and  ex- 
isted onl}^  by  force  of  arms  and  injustice.  That 
it  was  ungodly,  unprogressive,  unmanly,  a  shame 
and  a  disgrace  to  be  tolerated  by  a  people  who 
would  claim  to  be  proud  of  the  word  "freedom," 
and  at  the  same  time  by  force  of  law  forbid 
under  heavy  penalties  any  and  all  persons  to  pass 
the  sweet  cup  of  liberty  to  any  of  the  six  millions 
of  famishing  beings.  Souls  whom  their  masters 
taught  were  accountable  to  God  equally  with  the 
white  race  were  held  in  bondage.  This  feeling 
of  duty  to  free  all  and  let  each  person  have  an 
equal  chance  to  so  live  this  life  as  a  part  of  a  vast 
eternity,  preparatory  to   joys  immortal,   which 


64  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

were  bought  and  paid  for  by  the  life  and  blood  of 
the  Son  of  God,  continued  to  grow.  Still  our 
laws  made  one  person  lord  and  master,  the  other 
slave,  with  all  that  ambition  could  crave  forever 
barred  from  his  mind. 

On  this  subject  arguments  arose  in  the  thirties 
among  the  churches, — one  for,  and  the  other 
against,  master  and  servant,  until  early  in  the 
forties  an  open  rupture  and  a  division  of  one  of 
the  strong  and  influential  churches  was  the  re- 
sult. Previous  to  the  thirties  a  fear  arose  in 
Congress  that  the  slave  by  law  would  get  free- 
dom unless  a  majority  of  the  States  were  ad- 
mitted as  slave  States.  And  when  Missouri 
asked  to  be  christened  a  member  of  the  States  of 
America,  much  anxiety  arose  over  the  progress 
of  freedom.  Illinois  was  a  free  State,  and  to 
make  Missouri  free  would  give  the  balance  of 
power  in  the  Senate.  And  with  the  State  and 
Church  interested,  an  ambition  existed  to  get  and 
keep  slavery  equal  in  the  national  law-making 
councils,  as  there  was  doubt  as  to  the  vote  of  the 
"Territory  of  Missouri,"  when  cast,  whether  it 
was  free  by  a  majority  of  fourteen  votes  or  not. 
After  much  talk  for  and  against,  in  about  the 
year  1820  Missouri  was  awarded  to  slavery  by  a 
compromise  to  let  all  lands  be  forever  free  north 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL.  65 

of  36°  30'  north  latitude,  and  west  of  a  line  be- 
ginning at  the  mouth  of  the  Kaw  Kiver  and  run- 
ning due  south  to  36°  30'  north  latitude,  and  north 
to  the  north  boundary  of  "Nebraska";  so  here 
began  the  struggle  in  earnest.  To  let  Kansas 
come  in  as  a  slave  State  and  Nebraska  free  was 
the  bone  of  contention.  I  give  this  short  history 
not  for  its  historical  worth  so  much  as  to  say  that 
in  the  early  days  of  Kansas  much  dispute  arose 
among  the  "  squatters"  as  to  whether  it  would  be 
admitted  as  a  slave  State  or  free.  The  contest 
was  bitter,  and  not  without  bloodshed.  I  cast  my 
lot  and  vote  for  freedom,  which  meant  to  the  pro- 
slavery  element  a  "bad  man,"  and  one  who  would 
steal  a  lawful  piece  of  property  from  its  owner. 
As  the  Government  recognized  the  right  of  one 
man  to  use  another  as  lawful  property,  to  be 
bought  and  sold  as  land  by  deed  and  record,  they 
agreed  that  opposers  of  slavery  were  dishonest. 
I  chose  the  side  of  freedom.  I  could  not  do 
otherwise,  for  no  man  can  have  delegated  to  him 
by  statute  a  just  right  to  any  man's  liberty, 
either  on  account  of  race  or  color.  With  these 
truths  before  me  I  entered  all  combats  for  the 
abolition  of  slavery  at  home  and  abroad,  and 
soon    had    a    host  of    bitter    political  enemies, 

which   resulted  in  many   thrilling   and  curious 
6 


66  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

adventures,  some  of  which  it  will  be  proper  to 
narrate. 

Sometimes  a  man  will  take  great  risks,  partic- 
ularly in  times  of  war,  high  waters,  fire,  and  sick- 
ness. Then  he  will  volunteer  and  do  such  things 
as  he  could  not  be  hired  to  repeat  for  love  or 
money.  We  never  know  what  we  will  do  until 
we  get  into  a  tight  place.  To  economize  time 
and  distance  often  becomes  very  precious  in  hours 
of  danger.  Armies  are  lost  by  being  a  few 
minutes  too  late ;  crops  fail  for  not  being  put  in 
at  the  proper  time ;  thus  the  importance  of  punc- 
tuality is  very  necessary  at  all  times.  During 
the  bloody  days  of  the  Kansas  war  in  the  fifties, 
the  man  who  loved  freedom  was  hated  upon  the 
face  of  the  earth,  and  the  enemies  of  freedom 
thought  he  had  no  right  to  live,  so  he  was  hunted 
with  shot-guns  and  revolvers.  It  was  dangerous 
for  a  free-state  man  to  be  found  alone,  and  as  I 
was  one  of  the  freedom -loving  men  of  the  Terri- 
tory of  Kansas,  and  was  practising  medicine  all 
over  the  country,  I  usually  traveled  roads  I  knew 
to  be  safe,  especially  during  periods  of  the  high- 
est excitement,  at  which  time  the  pro-slavery  ele- 
ment of  the  country  was  assembled  together  for 
the  purpose  of  war,  and  the  free-state  men  col- 
lected  together   at   one   common    headquarters. 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  67 

Both  armies  armed  and  equipped — on  the  one 
side  to  extend  slavery,  on  the  other  to  prohiibit  it. 
During  the  year  1855  the  territory  was  in  a  con- 
dition of  civil  war.  Partisan  bands  were  arrayed 
against  each  other,  and  skirmishes  and  assassina- 
tions of  daily  occurrence. 

During  this  period  I  once  found  myself  in  a 
dangerous  position.  On  returning  home  from 
one  of  my  professional  visits  I  suddenly  found 
myself  cut  off  by  a  creek  with  steep  banks.  The 
only  means  of  crossing  this  stream  was  a  log 
hewn  on  the  upper  side  to  a  face  of  fourteen 
inches,  with  the  ends  imbedded  in  the  banks. 
The  log  was  a  cottonwood  about  twenty  feet 
long,  twenty  inches  in  diameter.  The  two  ends 
were  made  fast  in  the  banks  on  both  sides  of  the 
creek.  This  log  was  used  for  a  foot-log  for  the 
people  of  the  neighborhood.  I  must  cross  the 
stream  at  this  point  to  reach  home  or  take  a  four- 
mile  circuit,  with  many  chances  of  being  killed 
by  the  pro-slavery  party,  who  hated  me  with  the 
gall  of  political  bitterness,  which  had  long  ceased 
to  be  a  joke.  Thus  I  took  the  choice  with  my 
life  in  my  hands  and  my  body  upon  the  back  of 
a  trusty  mule  that  had  just  been  roughly  shod. 
She  pressed  her  nose  down  to  the  log,  which  was 
ten    feet   above  the  surface   of   the   ice-covered 


68  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

water.  The  ice  was  not  over  an  inch  thick,  then 
two  feet  of  water,  with  two  feet  more  of  mud 
under  it,  while  the  distance  from  bank  to  bank 
was  sixteen  feet.  My  mule  placed  first  one  foot 
and  then  another  upon  the  log  and  boldly  under- 
took with  firm  and  cautious  feet,  and  nose  to  the 
log,  to  transfer  me  to  the  adjacent  bank.  She 
succeeded,  and  in  one  minute's  time  the  log  and 
all  dangers  were  left  behind  me.  I  was  soon  in 
the  camps  of  my  friends,  about  a  half-mile  on  my 
way  home. 

When  I  told  my  mule  and  log  story  in  camp  I 
made  many  unbelievers.  Having  a  great  admir- 
ation for  the  truth,  and  not  relishing  the  accusa- 
tion of  false  statements,  I  requested  the  Captain 
to  give  me  a  committee  of  three,  and  I  would 
prove  that  the  mule  had  crossed  it.  As  the  log 
was  less  than  a  half-mile  off,  the  Captain  said : 
"  We  will  resolve  ourselves  in  a  committee  of  a 
whole,"  and  all  went  with  me,  saying  that  if 
they  found  I  had  told  a  lie  they  would  put  me  in 
the  creek.  On  reaching  the  place  the  Captain 
said: 

"  Here  are  marks  of  horseshoes  all  over  the  log, 
and  as  they  correspond  with  the  shoes  on  the 
mule's  feet,  Still  has  told  the  truth,  and  the  shoe- 
marks  are  his  witnesses." 


MY    MULE    PLACED    FIRST    ONE    FOOT    AND    THEN    ANOTHER   ON    THE    LOG. 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  69 

A  few  months  after  the  mule  and  foot-log  ad- 
venture I  was  called  to  visit  a  sick  lady  named 
Jones,  about  ten  miles  from  my  home,  and  in 
order  to  make  the  trip  to  and  from  short  as  pos- 
sible I  took  near  cuts,  some  of  which  led  through 
the  woods.  On  this  particular  occasion,  by  going 
through  a  thick  body  of  timber  I  could  save 
about  two  miles.  Entering  the  timber,  I  followed 
a  path  at  full  gallop.  All  at  once  my  mule 
began  to  slack  up  and  threw  her  ears  forward, 
walked  carefully  and  very  reluctantly,  by  which 
I  knew  that  men  were  close.  Knowing  that  the 
blood  of  the  opposition  was  up  to  a  fever  heat,  I 
brought  my  revolvers  front  in  my  belt,  unslung 
my  sharpshooter,  and  prepared  for  any  emer- 
gency. Not  knowing  the  exact  position  or  the 
number  of  the  enemy,  I  concluded  the  best  plan  to 
be  safe  was  to  prepare  to  be  dangerous.  In  a 
minute's  time  I  was  in  an  open  space  of  about 
one  acre  in  the  timber,  in  presence  of  a  company 
of  fifty  or  more  pro-slavery  men,  my  deadly 
enemies  in  politics,  who  had  assembled  in  this 
secluded  and  secret  place  to  drill  for  the  purpose 
of  fighting  anti-slavery  men  within  a  very  few 
days.  I  cannot  sa}"  that  my  hair  stood  on  end. 
Under  the  circumstances,  I  didn't  consider  there 
was  any  time  to  fool  with  hair,  and  knowing  that 


70 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL. 


the  bulge  counts  much  in   all   engagements,  I 
spoke  with  a  loud,  firm,  and  commanding  voice: 

"  What  in  the  d — 1  are  you  fellows  up  to?"     I 
was  answered  by  the 
Captain   in  com- 
mand: 

"  Where    in 
the  h — 1  are 


"what  in  the  D — L  ARE  YOU  FELLOWS 
UP  TO  ?  " 


you  going?"  I  saw  in  a  moment  that  my  firm- 
ness had  produced  good  effect,  and  there  was 
no  further  danger. 

I  rode  up  and  stopped  in  front  of  the  company, 
shook  hands  with  the  Captain,  told  him  to  give 
the  command  to  me  and  I  would  drill  his  men, 
and  show  him  how  Jim  Lane  and  John  Brown  did 
it,  concluding  with : 

"If  you  don't  have  your  men  better  trained, 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  71 

and    Jim    Lane  ever   meets  you,  he  will   shake 
you  up." 

The  Captain  turned  his  men  over  to  me,  and  I 
drew  them  up  in  line,  put  them  through  all  the 
cavalry  movements,  tangled  them  up,  straight- 
ened them  out,  and  told  the  Captain  he  must 
drill  hetter,  so  they  could  get  out  of  tight  places 
when  they  met  us.  Then  I  turned  the  company 
over  to  the  original  Captain  Owens,  who  said : 

"Attention,  company;  this  is  Dr.  Still,  the 
d — dest  abolitionist  out  of  h — 1,  who  is  not  afraid 
of  h — 1  or  high  water.  When  you  are  sick,  go 
for  him;  he  saved  my  wife's  life  in  cholera,  and 
I  know  him  to  be  successful  any  place  you  are  a 
mind  to  put  him.  In  politics  he  is  our  enemy,  in 
sickness  he  has  proven  to  be  our  friend."  And 
closed  by  saying:  "Doc,  go  home  to  dinner  with 
me,  and  I  will  go  with  you  to  see  Mrs.  Jones." 
I  went  with  the  Captain  to  dinner,  and  he  made 
his  word  good  by  goin^  with  me.  From  that 
time  until  the  close  of  the  pro-slavery  question 
in  1857  I  met,  passed,  and  repassed  his  men  with- 
out fear  or  molestation. 

I  was  chosen  by  the  people  to  represent  Doug- 
las County,  Kansas,  in  the  Legislature.  Among 
my  colleagues  were  such  men  as  John  Speer, 
George  Ditzler,  and  Hiram  Appleman,  all  ardent 


72  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

"free-state  men,"  who  loved  to  hate  slavery,  in 
all  its  forms,  believing  it  to  be  opposed  to  all 
progress  of  men  and  nations. 

I  was  chafed  to  know  that  my  old  State  Mis- 
souri, my  home  for  twenty  years,  had  150,000 
acres  of  school  lands,  of  which  not  a  dollar  was 
applied  to  school  purposes.  When  I  wanted 
schooling  in  my  young  days  this  money,  over  a 
million  dollars,  was  being  used  to  buy  "mules 
and  niggers,"  and  I,  cheated  of  my  rights,  paid 
for  my  schooling  by  mauling  rails.  As  a  legis- 
lator I  was  determined  that  no  such  tyranny 
should  lord  it  over  Kansas.  The  Legislature  was 
for  freedom  by  a  large  majority.  Both  houses 
and  the  territorial  Governor,  Eeeder,  were  with 
us  heart  and  soul. 

When  first  elected  to  the  Kansas  Legislature, 
which  was  in  1857,  the  free-state  men  agreed  to 
meet  at  Lawrence  and  Topeka  and  march  to 
Lecompton  in  a  body.  Being  in  the  lower  dis- 
trict, I  was  with  the  party  that  met  at  Lawrence. 
Ten-thirty  was  the  hour  agreed  upon,  where  the 
free-state  men  were  to  march  into  the  town 
escorted  by  an  armed  guard. 

We  entered  before  the  others  by  several 
minutes,  and  hitching  our  horses,  scattered  about 
the  town,  talking  in  small  groups.     Our  conduct 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  73 

soon  aroused  the  apprehensioDS  of  the  pro-slavery 
men. 

When  not  far  from  the  state  house,  I  was 
accosted  by  some  pro-slavery  men,  Judge  Elmore, 
a  man  named  Kato,  another  Brindle,  and  the 
third.  Hall,  with: 

"Whar  ar'  you'ns  from?" 

I  answered  that  I  was  from  Douglas  County, 
and  Elmore  asked: 

"  What  ye  here  for?" 

"I  was  sent  by  Jim  Lane,"  I  answered. 

"What  ye  goin'  to  do?" 

''  Whatever  Jim  Lane  wants  done." 

They  began  to  talk  quite  loud,  interspersing 
their  remarks  with  unholy  adjectives,  among 
which  "d— d  abolitionist,"  "d— d  fools,"  "d— d 
nigger-thieves"  were  the  least  complimentary. 

At  this  time  a  little  Yankee  of  about  one  hun- 
dred and  ten  pounds,  from  Massachusetts,  named 
G.  F.  Warren,  came  up,  took  me  by  the  arm, 
and  said  he  wished  to  speak  with  me  on  a  private 
matter,  and  hoped  my  friends  would  excuse 
me,  as  he  was  in  a  great  hurry.  With  the 
assurance  that  I  would  return,  I  excused  my- 
self, and  when  we  were  apart  from  the  others, 
asked : 

"  What  do  you  want,  Warren?" 


74  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

"I  want  you  to  keep  away  from  those  fellows; 
I  am  afraid  they  will  kill  you." 

I  had  on  my  overcoat,  with  pockets  on  the  in- 
side. I  opened  it,  showed  him  the  two  Colt's 
revolvers  in  the  inside  pockets,  and  told  him  to 
go  on  and  attend  to  his  own  business,  that  I 
wanted  to  talk  to  those  gentlemen  myself.  If  in 
the  course  of  our  discussion  I  found  need  of  his 
aid  I  would  surely  call  on  him. 

Leaving  Warren,  I  went  back  to  the  pro- 
slavery  men,  whose  numbers  had  been  reinforced 
by  several  additionals,  among  them  Colonel 
Young.  The  Colonel  wore  a  meat-knife,  or  what 
people  not  accustomed  to  polite  language  would 
call  a  "bowie,"  in  his  belt.  A  glance  showed  me 
that  Warren  was  watching  me  with  considerable 
anxiety  from  the  corner.  I  took  care  to  keep  the 
pro-slavery  men  in  front  while  talking  to  them. 
Young,  in  a  milder  tone  than  any  of  the  others 
had  used,  asked : 

"  What  do  you  expect  to  accomplish  in  this 
assembly,  anyway?" 

"  We  propose  to  break  every  link  in  the 
pro-slavery  chain,  and  do  all  Jim  Lane  re- 
quires, to  make  Kansas  free  from  master  and 
slave." 

They  grew  boisterous,  and  Judge  Elmore  be- 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  75 

came  insultiDg.  I  looked  him  in  the  face  and 
said: 

"  The  angels  are  coming.  The  Lord  is  on  our 
side,  and  His  angels  will  soon  be  with  us;  then 
you  will  hear  the  music  from  on  high."  One  of 
the  gentlemen  said : 

"Listen  to  the  d — d  fool;  he  is  crazy."  I  an- 
swered : 

"I  am  not  crazy,  Judge,"  then  looked  at  my 
watch,  which  had  been  set  the  evening  before  to 
correspond  with  the  watches  of  our  friends.  It 
lacked  less  than  two  minutes  of  the  time  desig- 
nated.    I  said : 

"I  can  almost  smell  the  breath  of  the  angels. 
I  hear  the  rustling  of  their  wings."  To  which 
Elmore  cried : 

"The.d — d  fool  is  either  drunk  or  crazy;  what 
is  the  matter  with  him?" 

His  deep-toned  voice,  trained  to  command 
negroes  when  he  rawhided  them,  had  scarce  died 
on  the  air,  when : 

"  Boom !  boom !  boom !"  went  the  big  bass- 
drum,  and  the  fifes'  shrill  shriek  rose  on  the 
air. 

"  What  the  h— 1  is  that?"  roared  Judge  El- 
more. 

"That  is  the  music  of  the  Lord's  cavalry,  com- 


76 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 


ing  to  help  us  knock   the  shackles  from   every 
slave." 

By  this  time  the  head  of  Jim  Lane's  column, 
seven  hundred  strong,  could  he  seen  coming  over 

the    hill,    with     colors 

^^Wi^^      M     ^  M  flyiiig  and  drums  beat- 

ing. 

Judge  Elmore,  Colo- 


nel Young,  and 
the  followers 
started  to  run. 
I  called  to  them 
to  halt. 

"  We  are  afraid 
of  personal  vio- 
lence from  Yan- 
kee fools,"  they 
answered. 

"There  is  no 
danger  whatever,"  I  answered.  "We  are  free- 
state  men,  and  I  will  see  you  are  protected,  for 
I  am  at  the   head  of  a   company,    and    not    a 


BY  THIS  TIMK  THE  BEAD  OF  JIM  LANE's 
COLUMN  COCLD  BE  SEEN. 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  77 

hair  of  your  heads  shall  be  touched."  But  their 
legs  controlled  their  bodies,  and  they  could  not 
be  persuaded.     They  ran  away. 

We  assembled  and  made  a  temporary  or- 
ganization. On  that  night  the  free-state 
members  of  the  assembly  and  some  friends  to 
the  number  of  three  hundred  went  to  a  night 
session  of  a  Pro-Slavery  Constitutional  Conven- 
tion. 

The  convention  was  assembled  in  a  hall  capable 
of  holding*  about  seven  hundred  persons.  We 
took  our  seats  in  the  rear,  and  though  every  man 
was  armed  with  one  and  many  with  two  revol- 
vers, we  were  inclined  to  be  peaceable  if  unmo- 
lested. 

The  pro-slavery  men  were  very  quiet,  and  their 
proceedings  quite  orderly.  We  listened  to  them 
for  about  thirty  minutes,  when  a  member  began 
a  tirade  upon  us,  denominating  us  as  the  sons  of 
feminine  dogs,  prefixed  by  an  abundance  of 
brimstone  adjectives. 

In  a  moment  the  cup  was  filled  and  running 
over.  Captain  Walker,  of  our  side,  leaped  to  his 
feet  and  yelled : 

"G — d  d — n  you,  take  that  back!" 

I  looked  about  and  was  surprised  to  find  in  ad- 
dition to  my  own  revolvers  five  hundred  more 


78  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

covering  every  drop  of  pro-slavery  blood  in  the 
house,  from  the  chairman  down. 

Striking  his  gavel  on  the  desk,  the  chairman 
sprang  to  his  feet,  crying: 

"For  God's  sake,  don't  shoot!  That  man  is 
drunk  and  don't  know  what  he  is  doing!"  Cap- 
tain Walker  quickly  retorted : 

"Trot  him  out  of  there  then,  and  do  it  pretty 
G — d  d — n  quick,  or  I  will  order  them  to  fire,  and 
keep  it  up  until  the  last  dirty  pro-slavery  cuss  is 
dead,  pitched  out  of  the  window,  and  in  h — 1. 
We're  not  here  to  take  any  such  stuff."' 

In  a  second's  time  four  men  had  the  drunken 
member  by  the  legs  and  arms,  hurried  him  out 
and  ran  him  off,  we  never  knew  where.  Captain 
Walker  then  addressed  the  chairman,  asking  if  it 
was  true  that  we  began  this  trouble. 

"No,  you  have  been  gentlemen,"  was  the  an- 
swer. 

"Now,  Mr.  Chairman,  I  want  you  to  so  re- 
port us.  If  I  find  that  you  have  not  so  reported 
us  over  your  own  signature  I  will  kill  you,  G — d 
d — n  you  !" 

When  the  Legislature  was  assembled  next 
morning,  there  was  no  opposition  for  us,  and  we 
had  our  own  way.  After  the  permanent  organ- 
ization we  adjourned  to  meet  at  Lawrence. 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL.  79 

At  the  close  of  our  deliberations,  March,  1858, 
we  had  territorial  law  that  was  all  new,  except 
that  referring  to  the  records  of  deeds  and  mar- 
riages, which  was  thankfully  received,  and  peace 
followed. 

I  went  home  to  follow  the  practice  of  medicine 
and  saw  lumber,  which  I  did  from  1856  to  1860, 
except  the  time  spent  in  the  Legislature.  Dur- 
ing the  fall  of  1860  we  elected  "Abraham  Lin- 
coln" to  champion  the  coming  conflict  between 
Slavery  and  Freedom — not  of  Kansas  alone,  but 
of  all  North  America.  Then  the  struggle  began, 
and  lasted  until  he  dipped  his  pen  and  wrote  the 
golden  words:  "Forever  free,  without  regard  to 
race  or  color."  When  the  war  of  the  Eebellion 
was  declared  against  the  laws  and  authorities  of 
the  United  States,  I  saw  at  once  another  move 
whose  object  was  to  extend  slavery  and  illiter- 
acy by  a  division  of  the  Territory,  which  could 
only  be  an  example  for  other  States  to  imitate 
when  any  political  partj'^  was  unsuccessful  in  an 
election,  and  divide  the  country  up  into  a  "North 
and  South"  and  East,  Middle  and  West,  Southern 
Confederacy.  Then  the  East  Middle,  and  West, 
Northern  Confederacy,  and  thus  have  six  empires 
of  quarreling  fools,  who  would  ruin  all  our  fore- 
fathers  had  given  us  under  a  sworn  pledge  to 


80  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

keep  inviolate  to  the  end  of  time.     Lincoln  said : 
"I  will  keep  that  pledge.     Who  will  help  me?" 

With  a  roar  all  the  loyal  legions  from  over  the 
nation  answered  "I!"  War  was  on  us,  with  all 
its  diabolical  fury,  and  ran  with  rivers  of  blood 
and  death  until  over  a  million  fell  to  rise  no 
more. 


CHAPTER   V. 

I  Enlist  in  Company  F,  Ninth  Cavalry  Volunteers — Our 
Mission— At  Kansas  City — Pursuit  of  Price — The  Army  at 
Springfield — Summary  Vengeance  on  Guerrillas — Captain 
Company  D  of  the  Eighteenth  Kansas  Militia — Major  of 
the  Twenty-First  Kansas  Militia— On  the  Missouri  Frontier 
— Fighting  Joe  Shelby — Osteopathy  in  Danger — Burying 
Dead  Under  a  Flag  of  Truce — The  Regiment  Treated  to  a 
Surprise. 

In  September,  1861,  at  Fort  Leavenworth,  I 
enlisted  in  the  Ninth  Kansas  Cavalry,  in  Com- 
pany F,  T.  J.  Mewhinne  captain.  The  regi- 
ment was  composed  mainly  of  Kansas  men  who 
had  been  christened  in  the  baptism  of  fire  during 
the  pro-slavery  contest.  Soon  after  enlisting  we 
drew  our  clothing  and  equipments. 

We  were  men  who  meant  business  and  had 
started  out  to  do  some  very  severe  and  successful 
fighting.  We  declared  that  our  canteens  were 
to  catch  rebel  blood  instead  of  carry  water. 

From  Leavenworth  we  were  ordered  to  Kansas 
City  to  complete  our  outfit,  and  were  placed  in 
the  brigade  of  James  H.  Lane,  then  commis- 
sioned to  organize  the  Western  army.     In  a  short 

time  we  received  marching  orders  to  report  at 
6 


82  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

Springfield,  Mo.  We  left  Kansas  City  on  the 
day  that  Mulligan  surrendered  to  General  Price 
at  Lexington.  Price  frona  some  cause  chose  to 
march  his  army  south  by  way  of  Springfield. 

Each  night  we  camped  on  the  same  ground  on 
which  Price  had  camped  the  night  previous, 
until  Springfield  was  reached.  During  this 
march  the  rebel  army  seemed  aware  of  the 
fact  that  pursuers  were  in  their  rear.  Though 
we  did  not  come  in  sight  of  the  Confederates 
during  the  march,  we  had  the  satisfaction  of 
tearing  down  many  flags  which  Price  had  flung 
to  the  breeze.  At  Pleasant  Hill,  Greenfield' 
and  other  points  the  stars  and  bars  were  low- 
ered to  give  place  to  the  stars  and  stripes. 

Many  loyal  hearts  that  had  sought  concealment 
during  Price's  march  came  forth  from  the  woods 
and  bushes,  to  fall  in  with  us  and  swell  our 
numbers,  so  that  by  the  time  we  reached  Spring- 
field our  brigade  was  considerably  larger  than 
when  we  left  Kansas  City.  We  arrived  at 
Springfield  just  before  General  Fremont  was  re- 
moved from  command  of  the  Western  Depart- 
ment. 

The  whole  army  assembled  at  Springfield  was 
then  given  in  round  numbers  at  one  hundred  and 
twenty  thousand  men.     The  east  and  west  sides 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  83 

of  a  forty-acre  field  were  protected  by  lines  of 
artillery  a  quarter  of  a  mile  long. 

We  remained  at  Springfield  until  about  the 
first  of  November,  and  were  ordered  back  to  Fort 
Scott,  and  then  to  different  points  along  the  Mis- 
souri border,  until  we  finally  reached  Harrison- 
ville,  where  we  went  into  winter  quarters.  Dur- 
ing the  winter  that  followed  we  were  continually 
harassed  by  bushwhackers,  who  not  only  am- 
bushed and  shot  our  soldiers,  but  loyal  citizens  as 
well.  This  guerrilla  warfare  grew  to  be  such 
an  annoyance  that  a  Colorado  brigade  under 
Colonel  Ford,  to  whom  we  had  reported,  set  out 
to  take  summary  vengeance  on  the  enemy.  The 
Colorado  troops  were  cavalry,  and  in  squads  of 
from  twenty  to  a  company  scoured  the  country 
from  Kansas  City  to  the  Osage  River.  It  was 
reported  that  they  killed  seventeen  hundred  in 
that  Territory  in  eleven  days.  I  counted  sixty- 
two  fresh  graves  in  one  graveyard,  near  Har- 
risonville,  which  were  said  to  be  the  graves  oi 
rebels  killed  on  that  occasion.  For  some  time 
after  this  there  was  no  more  trouble  from  guer- 
rillas. 

About  the  1st  of  April,  1862,  the  Third  Bat- 
talion of  the  Ninth  Kansas  was  disbanded,  which 
let  me  out  of  the  service. 


84  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

I  went  home  and  organized  a  company  of 
Kansas  militia,  and  about  May  15th,  1862,  was 
commissioned  Captain  of  Company  D,  Eigh- 
teenth Kansas  militia.  I  received  orders  to  drill 
my  men  once  a  week,  and  patrol  the  road  known 
as  the  Old  Santa  Fe  Trail,  running  from  Kansas 
City  to  Old  Mexico.  My  beat  extended  east  and 
west  across  Douglass  County,  Kansas.  The  drill- 
ing and  training  continued  until  1862,  when  an 
order  was  issued  to  organize  the  Eighteenth 
Eegiment  of  Kansas  militia,  of  which  I  was 
chosen  major. 

A  few  months  later  there  came  another  order 
to  consolidate  with  some  other  battalions,  by 
which  I  was  transferred  to  major  of  the  Twen- 
ty-first Kansas  militia.  I  did  service  in  this 
capacity  in  Kansas  until  the  autumn  of  1864, 
when  on  the  10th  of  October  General  Curtis 
ordered  us  to  the  border-line  between  Missouri 
and  Kansas  to  fight  General  Price,  who  was  ex- 
pected at  Kansas  City  or  Independence  at  an 
early  day. 

Militia  regiments  from  Kansas  were  hurried  to 
the  border  until  our  numbers  equaled  twenty- 
seven  thousand.  By  the  addition  of  General 
Totten  we  numbered  thirty-five  thousand.  We 
were    stationed   south   of   Westport,   forming  a 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T   STILL.  85 

line  extending  for  ten  miles.  During  Thursday 
and  Friday  of  October  22d  and  23d  there  was 
heavy  fighting  at  Lexington  and  Independence. 

On  the  morning  of  the  twent3'-fourth  General 
Price  moved  west,  formed  his  men,  and  opened 
the  battle  from  Westport  running  south  to  the 
Little  Blue,  a  distance  of  six  miles.  He  took  the 
aggressive,  and  we  met  and  fought  his  forces, 
under  command  of  Joe  Selby,  Quantrell,  and 
numerous  other  Confederate  commanders. 

About  four  o'clock  on  Saturday,  the  twenty- 
fourth,  the  battle  raged  all  along  the  line,  from 
Westport  to  the  Little  Blue,  on  which  ground 
the  Twenty-first  Kansas  State  Militia  was 
stationed.  Being  east  of  the  Kansas  line.  Gen- 
eral Joe  Shelby  seemed  to  regard  us  as  intruders, 
and  expressed  his  convictions  in  showers  of  bul- 
lets. We  considered  this  an  uncivil  way  to  treat 
visiting  neighbors,  and  resented  by  an  equally  hot 
fire.  The  Twenty-first  Kansas  nobly  held  its 
ground  while  we  were  bathed  in  fire,  smoke,  and 
blood.  I  remembered  the  good  old  Scriptural 
admonition,  that  "it  is  more  blessed  to  give  than 
receive,"  and  told  the  boys  to  give  them  the  best 
they  had ;  and  we  gave  them  forty-two  rounds — 
not  without  a  charge,  but  with  a  charge  behind 
each  one  of  them. 


86  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL. 

DuriDg  the  hottest  period  of  the  fight  a  mus- 
ket-ball passed  through  the  lapels  of  my  vest, 
carrying  away  a  pair  of  gloves  I  had  stuck  in 
the  bosom  of  it.  Another  minie-ball  passed 
through  the  back  of  my  coat  just  above  the 
buttons,  making  an  entry  and  exit  about  six 
inches  apart.  Had  the  rebels  known  how  close 
they  were  shooting  at  Osteopathy,  perhaps  they 
would  not  have  been  quite  so  careless. 

During  this  engagement  I  was  mounted  on  the 
same  mule  which  had  walked  the  log  with  me 
back  in  Kansas.  The  antics  of  this  creature 
when  the  leaden  balls  came  whizzing  thick- 
est about  her  were  amusing.  She  seemed 
under  the  impression  they  were  nit-flies,  while 
I  was  thoroughly  convinced  they  were  bul- 
lets. 

Many  amusing  incidents  occurred  during  our 
conflict.  Some  of  our  boys  fell  to  praying  for 
the  Lord  to  save  them.  Under  the  circumstances 
I  deemed  it  best  to  suspend  devotional  services, 
and  get  into  line  to  fight  the  rebels  who  were 
spattering  us  with  lead,  so  I  leaped  from  my 
mule,  and  planting  my  foot  close  behind  some  of 
them,  I  broke  the  spell.  They  closed  up  the 
front  and  made  good  soldiers  throughout  the  re- 
mainder of  the  fight. 


OSTEOPATHY    IN    DANGER. 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL.  87 

We  held  the  field  until  Price's  forces  with- 
drew, leaving  fifty-two  dead  on  the  ground,  and 
one  hundred  and  twenty-seven  horses  fell  into 
our  hands.  Shortly  after  the  departure  of  the 
enemy  night  spread  her  friendly  mantle  over  the 
scene,  shutting  out  from  our  sight  the  horrors  of 
war.  Our  regiment  marched  west  two  miles, 
then  north  six,  east  one,  and  went  into  camp 
near  Shawneetown. 

About  six  o'clock  next  morning  the  artillery 
under  General  Totten  opened  fire  east  of  Westport 
and  south  for  six  or  eight  miles — twenty-eight 
pieces  joining  in  the  chorus,  with  a  spattering  of 
small  arms,  which  made  a  sullen  roar  that  rolled 
along  the  entire  line.  The  fighting  was  severe 
until  about  eight  o'clock,  when  General  Price 
began  his  retreat  south.  We  followed  him, 
skirmishing  all  the  way,  until  we  had  pursued 
him  a  distance  of  ninety  miles,  had  captured 
twenty-eight  cannon,  and  were  only  a  mile  or 
two  east  of  Fort  Scott, 

At  this  point  we  decided  not  to  escort  General 
Price  any  farther,  but  leave  him  to  take  care  of 
himself.  Finding  the  Confederate  General  Mar- 
maduke  in  bad  company,  we  invited  him  to  go 
home  with  us;  and  as  we  were  prepared  to  en- 
force the  invitation,  he  consented  with  some  re- 


88  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

luctance,  for  the  general  had  a  "  hankering  after 
the  stars  and  bars." 

After  Price's  forces  began  their  retreat  the 
firing  ceased  for  a  while,  and  they  had  gone  fully 
twenty  miles  before  it  was  again  resumed. 

The  privilege  was  given  the  enemy  to  bury 
their  dead,  and  soon  a  company  of  one  hundred 
and  forty  of  our  brave  foes  came  to  my  head- 
quarters under  a  flag  of  truce,  which  we  always 
respected.  I  ordered  the  captain  and  his  men  to 
dismount  and  stack  their  arms,  which  they  did. 
I  then  instructed  the  officer  in  command  to  form 
his  men  in  line  before  me,  and  stationed  a  guard 
over  their  arms.  Addressing  the  captain,  I 
asked : 

"How  are  you  off  for  grub?" 

"Almost  out,  major!"  he  answered. 

Then  in  a  tone  and  manner  as  serious  as  I 
could  assume,  I  said : 

"I  want  you  to  listen  to  what  I  have  to  say 
for  about  five  minutes,  and  not  move  a  muscle 
until  I  get  through," 

Then  I  went  on  to  picture  the  horrors  of  war 
and  the  extreme  measures  sometimes  necessary. 
I  wound  up  by  saying  the  rebels  had  been  in  the 
habit  of  shooting  many  of  our  men,  and  notwith- 
standing they  had  come  in  under  a  flag  of  truce, 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  89 

I  intended  to  shoot  the  captain  and  every  man 
with  him.  At  this  every  cheek  blanched  and 
their  breath  came  quick.  Some  were  about  to 
interpose,  when  I  broke  in  with : 

"  I  mean  I  will  shoot  you  all  in  the  mouth  with 
food  and  coffee,  as  I  want  to  convert  all  your 
sorrows  into  joy.  Break  ranks,  go  to  the  com- 
missary, and  get  enough  to  fill  up," 

The  captain  and  officers  gave  me  a  friendly 
grasp,  and  regretted  that  war  made  us,  who 
should  be  by  all  laws  of  nature  friends,  ene- 
mies, and  hoped  that  the  angel  of  Peace  might 
soon  spread  her  white  wings  over  our  beloved 
land. 

Those  rebels  certainly  enjoyed  that  meal,  and 
it  was  no  doubt  the  first  good  meal  the  poor  fel- 
lows had  had  for  many  days. 

After  chasing  Price  for  ninety  miles,  as  stated, 
we  went  into  Kansas  at  De  Soto,  and  on  Tuesday 
morning,  October  2Tth,  1864, 1  received  orders  to 
disband  the  Twenty-first  Eegiment  and  go  home. 
I  kept  the  order  to  myself,  determined  to  try  the 
grit  of  the  boys  and  have  a  little  fun  at  their  ex- 
pense. 

Ordering  the  whole  regiment  to  be  drawn  up 
in  line,  I  made  them  a  speech  in  which  I  said  we 
had  a  very  long  march  before  us  and  a  desperate 


90  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL. 

battle  at  the  end  of  it.  I  stated  that  I  did  not 
wish  any  one  to  undertake  this  arduous  march  or 
to  engage  in  the  terrible  conflict  who  was  not 
fully  equal  to  the  emergency.  If  any  felt  too 
sick,  faint,  or  weak  to  accompany  us,  or  for  any 
cause  felt  they  could  not  endure  the  hardship  and 
danger,  they  would  not  be  forced  to  go.  All  who 
would  volunteer  to  go  with  me  through  any  trial 
or  danger  were  requested  to  step  six  paces  to  the 
front. 

About  one-third  of  the  command  stepped  out 
six  paces  and  thus  declared  their  willingness  to 
follow  anywhere.  Then  in  a  tone  loud  enough 
to  be  heard  by  all  I  read  the  order  for  the  dis- 
banding of  the  regiment,  told  those  who  did  not 
feel  well  enough  to  accompany  us  to  go  to  the 
hospital  under  the  doctor's  care,  and  to  the 
others  said : 

"Boys,  we  will  go  home!" 

Shouts  and  roars  of  laughter  drowned  any 
further ,  utterance,  and  in  ten  minutes  we  had 
not  a  sick  man  in  the  regiment. 

The  regiment  was  disbanded,  we  all  went 
home,  and  that  ended  my  experience  as  a  soldier. 


CHAPTER    VI. 

The  End  of  the  War — Rejoicing  at  the  Dawn  of  Peace — New 
Dangers — The  Evil  of  Drugs— Terrible  Visions— A  Picture 
Drawn— Digging  in  Indian  Graves  for  Subjects — Studying 
from  the  G  reat  Book  of  Nature — The  Ravages  of  That  Ter- 
rible Disease  Meningitis — Prayers  and  Medicine — Death 
of  Four  Members  of  My  Family — Is  Medicine  a  Failure? 

The  war  ended  as  every  thinking  person  must 
have  reasoned  it  would  end.  Hate,  passion,  and 
avarice  might  prevail  for  a  wliile,  but  in  the  end 
the  spunky  little  South  which  fought  so  gallantly 
was  compelled  to  yield  to  the  determined  North. 

On  the  one  side,  men  and  money  became  too 
scarce  to  continue  the  struggle  longer.  A  sur- 
render, and  peace  was  proclaimed,  and  human 
slavery  ceased  to  be  a  part  of  the  institutions  of 
America.  All  gladly  quit  the  conflict  and  re- 
sumed the  life  of  the  peaceful  citizen.  I  gladly 
left  the  field  of  bloody  contention,  with  all 
others,  to  resume  the  duties  of  a  private  citizen. 
I  was  not  long  in  discovering  we  had  habits,  cus 
toms,  and  traditions  no  better  than  slavery  in  its 
worst  days,  and  far  more  tyrannical.  My  sleep 
was  wellnigh  ruined ;   by  day  and  night   I  saw 


92  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

legions  of  men  and  women  stagger  to  and  fro, 
all  over  the  land,  crying  for  freedom  from  habits 
of  drugs  and  drinks. 

My  heart  trembled,  my  brain  rested  not  by  day 
nor  by  night,  to  see  man  made  in  the  image  of 
his  Creator  treated  with  such  little  respect  and 
sense  by  men  who  should  know  better.  I  saw 
men  and  women  dosed  with  drugs  whose  poison- 
ous fangs  showed  the  serpent  of  habit,  that  was 
as  sure  to  eat  its  victim  as  a  stone  would  return 
to  the  earth  when  cast  into  the  air.  I  dreamed 
of  the  dead  and  dying  who  were  and  had  been 
slaves  of  habit.  I  sought  to  know  the  cause  of 
so  much  death,  bondage,  and  distress  of  my  race. 
I  found  the  cause  to  be  in  the  ignorance  of  our 
"Schools  of  Medicine."  I  found  that  he  who 
gave  the  first  persuasive  dose  was  also  an  ex- 
ample of  the  same  habit  of  dosing  and  drinking 
himself,  and  was  a  staggering  form  of  humanity, 
wound  hopelessly  tight  in  the  serpent's  coil.  In 
vain  he  cried : 

"  Who  can  free  me  from  this  serpent,  who 
has  all  my  liberties  and  joy  of  myself  and  loved 
ones?"     In  the  anguish  of  his  soul  he  said : 

"I  wish  I  was  as  free  as  the  negro  for  whose 
freedom  I  faced  the  deadly  cannon  three  long 
years." 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL.  93 

"Oh!"  says  one,  who  is  cultivating  this  habit 
of  drugs  and  drinks,  "I  can. quit  my  master  any 
time  I  choose,  but  the  nigger  could  not,  because 
the  law  held  him  in  slavery  with  rawhide  whips, 
bloodhounds,  and  shot-guns,  to  torture  him  to 
obedience ;  and  I  am  free  to  use  drugs  or  quit 
just  when  I  want  to." 

If  you  will  chalk  his  back  and  watch  him,  you 
will  soon  find  him  about  a  drug-store  complain- 
ing of  not  feeling  well.  He  has  taken  a  cold, 
and  says: 

"  My  wife  belongs  to  church,  and  the  meetings 
are  held  so  late,  and  room  so  hot,  I  caught  cold 
going  home,  and  think  I  ought  to  take  some- 
thing." 

Druggist  says : 

"  Professor,  I  think  a  little  Jamaica  ginger  and 
about  an  ounce  of  old  rye  is  just  what  will  fix 
you  up." 

"Well,  I  will  try  some,  I  believe;  still  I  hate 
to  go  to  church  stinking  of  whisky." 

"  Chew  a  few  cloves  and  cardamon  seed,  and 
they  will  disguise  the  whisky  smell,"  says  the 
druggist.  Soon  church  ends  its  night  sessions, 
and  Professor  still  comes  with  pains  in  back  to 
say: 

"I  was  out  all   last   night  after   a   fox,   and 


94  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

caught  more  cold,"  and  winks  at  druggist,  and 
says:  "Fix  me  the  same  you  did  before,  and  give 
me  half  a  pint  to  take  to  granny." 

This  hypocritical  pretension  became  more  and 
more  disgusting  to  me.  I  who  had  had  some 
experience  in  alleviating  pain  found  medicines  a 
failure.  Since  early  life  I  had  been  a  student  of 
nature's  books. 

In  my  early  days  in  wind-swept  Kansas  I  had 
devoted  my  attention  to  the  study  of  anatomy. 
I  became  a  robber  in  the  name  of  science.  In  • 
dian  graves  were  desecrated  and  the  bodies  of  the 
sleeping  dead  exhumed  in  the  name  of  science. 
Yes,  I  grew  to  be  one  of  those  vultures  of  the 
scalpel,  and  studied  the  dead  that  the  living 
might  be  benefited. 

I  had  printed  books,  but  went  back  to  the 
great  book  of  nature  as  my  chief  study.  The 
poet  has  said  that  the  greatest  study  of  man  is 
man.  I  believed  this,  and  would  have  believed 
it  if  he  had  said  nothing  about  it.  The  best  way 
to  study  man  is  to  dissect  a  few  bodies. 

My  subjects  were  the  bodies  exhumed  from 
the  Indian  graves.  Day  and  night,  like  any 
other  grave-robber,  I  roamed  about  the  country, 
and  often  at  moonlight  and  often  in  the  day-time 
with  shovel  disinterred  the  dead  Indian  and  util- 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  95 

ized  his  body  for  the  good  of  science.  Some  one 
says  the  end  justifies  the  means,  and  I  adopt  this 
theory  to  satisfy  the  qualms  of  conscience.  The 
dead  Indians  never  objected  to  being  object- 
lessons  for  the  development  of  science.  Their 
relatives  knew  nothing  about  it;  and  as  v/here 
ignorance  is  bliss  it  is  folly  to  be  wise,  and  as  the 
knowledge  which  I  gained  by  this  research  has 
aided  me  to  relieve  countless  thousands  of  suffer- 
ing human  beings,  and  snatch  many  from  the 
grave,  I  shall  not  allow  my  equanimity  of  mind 
to  be  disturbed  by  the  thoughts  that  I  once  was 
a  grave-robber. 

My  science  or  discovery  was  born  in  Kansas 
under  many  trying  circumstances.  On  the  fron- 
tier while  fighting  the  pro-slavery  sentiment  and 
snakes  and  badgers,  then  later  on  through  the 
Civil  War,  and  after  the  Civil  War,  until  like  a 
burst  of  sunshine  the  whole  truth  dawned  on  my 
mind,  I  was  gradually  approaching  a  science  by 
study,  research,  and  observation  that  the  world 
is  receiving. 

Is  the  frontier  a  place  to  study  science?  our 
college-bred  gentleman  may  ask.  Henry  Ward 
Beecher  once  remarked  that  it  made  very  little 
difference  how  one  acquired  an  education, 
whether  it  be  in  the  classic  shades  and  frescoed 


96  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL. 

halls  of  old  Oxford  or  Harvard,  or  by  the  fireside 
in  the  lonely  cabin  on  the  frontier.  The  frontier 
is  a  good  place  to  get  the  truth.  There  is  no  one 
there  to  bother  you. 

Beecher  was  then  in  mature  years,  and  knew 
whereof  he  spoke.  He  had  by  the  experience  of 
a  lifetime  come  to  realize  that  a  college  educa- 
tion would  not  put  good  sense  in  a  head  where  no 
brains  existed. 

The  frontier  is  the  great  book  of  nature.  It  is 
the  fountain-head  of  knowledge,  and  natural 
science  is  here  taught  from  first  principles.  How 
does  the  scientist  learn  of  the  habits  and  manners 
of  the  animals  which  he  wishes  to  study?  By 
the  observation  of  the  animals.  The  old  fron- 
tiersman knows  more  of  the  customs  and  habits 
of  the  wild  animals  than  the  scientist  ever  dis- 
covered. Agassiz  with  all  his  knowledge  of 
natural  history  knows  not  as  much  of  the  mink 
and  beaver  as  the  trapper  whose  life  business  has 
been  to  catch  them. 

In  the  quiet  of  the  frontier,  surrounded  by 
nature,  I  prosecuted  my  study  of  anatomy  with 
more  zeal  and  more  satisfactory  results  than  I 
had  at  college.  With  no  teacher  but  the  facts 
of  nature,  and  no  classmate  save  the  badger, 
cayote,  and  my  mule,  I  sat  down  to  my  desk  on 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  97 

the  prairie  to  study  over  what  I  had  learned  at 
medical  schools.  With  the  theory  firmly  fixed 
in  my  mind  that  the  "  greatest  study  of  man  is 
man,"  I  began  with  the  skeleton.  I  improved, 
my  store  in  anatomical  knowledge  until  I 
was  quite  familiar  with  every  bone  in  the 
human  body.  The  study  of  these  bodies  of 
ours  has  ever  been  fascinating  to  me.  I  love 
the  study  and  have  always  pursued  it  with  a 
zeal. 

Indian  after  Indian  was  exhumed  and  dis- 
sected, and  still  I  was  not  satisfied.  A  thou- 
sand experiments  were  made  with  bones,  until 
I  became  quite  familiar  with  the  bony  struc- 
ture. 

I  might  have  advanced  sooner  in  Osteopathy 
had  not  our  Civil  War  interfered  with  the  prog- 
ress of  ray  studies.  We  cannot  say  how  a  thing 
will  appear  until  it  is  developed,  and  then  we 
often  find  that  the  greatest  good  follows  the 
greatest  grief  and  woe,  as  you  all  know  fire  is 
the  greatest  test  of  the  purity  of  gold.  It  may 
be  good  for  the  metal,  but  it  is  hard  on  the  gold. 
Not  until  I  had  been  tried  by  fire  did  I  cut  loose 
from  that  stupidity,  drugs.  Not  until  my  heart 
had  been  torn  and  lacerated  with  grief  and 
affliction    could    I    fully    realize    the    ineflScacy 


98  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

of  drugs.  Some  may  say  that  it  was  neces- 
sary that  I  should  suffer  in  order  that  goo.i 
might  come,  but  I  feel  that  my  grief  came 
through  gross  ignorance  on  the  part  of  the 
medical  profession. 

It  was  in  the  spring  of  1864;  the  distant 
thunders  of  the  retreating  war  could  be  easily 
heard;  but  a  new  enemy  appeared.  War  had 
been  very  merciful  to  me  compared  with  this  foe. 
War  had  left  my  family  unharmed;  but  when 
the  dark  wings  of  spinal  meningitis  hovered  over 
the  land,  it  seemed  to  select  my  loved  ones  for 
its  prey. 

The  doctors  came  and  were  faithful  in  their  at- 
tendance. Day  and  night  they  nursed  and  cared 
for  my  sick,  and  administered  their  most  trust- 
worthy remedies,  but  all  to  no  purpose.  The 
loved  ones  sank  lower  and  lower.  The  minister 
came  and  consoled  us.  Surely  with  the  men  of 
God  to  invoke  divine  aid,  and  men  skilled  in 
scientific  research,  my  loved  ones  would  be  saved. 
Any  one  might  hope  that  between  prayers  and 
pills  the  angel  of  death  would  be  driven  from  our 
door.  But  he  is  a  stubborn  enemy,  and  when  he 
has  set  his  seal  on  a  victim,  prayers  and  pills  will 
not  avail. 

I  had  great  faith  in  the  honesty  of  my  preacher 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL.  99 

and  doctors  then,  and  I  have  not  lost  that  faith. 
God  knows  I  believe  they  did  what  they  thought 
was  for  the  best.  They  never  neglected  their 
subjects,  and  dosed,  and  added  to  and  changed 
doses,  hoping  to  hit  upon  the  defeat  to  the 
enemy ;  but  it  was  of  no  avail. 

It  was  when  I  stood  gazing  upon  three  mem- 
bers of  my  family, — two  of  my  own  children  and 
one  adopted  child, — all  dead  from  the  disease 
spinal  meningitis,  that  I  propounded  to  myself 
the  serious  question,  "In  sickness  has  not  God 
left  man  in  a  world  of  guessing?  Guess  what  is 
the  matter?  What  to  give,  and  guess  the  re- 
sult? And  when  dead,  guess  where  he  goes."  I 
decided  then  that  God  was  not  a  guessing  God, 
but  a  God  of  truth. 

And  all  His  works,  spiritual  and  material,  are 
harmonious.  His  law  of  animal  life  was  abso- 
lute. So  wise  a  God  had  certainly  placed  the 
remedy  within  the  material  house  in  which  the 
spirit  of  life  dwells. 

With  this  thought  I  trimmed  my  sail  and 
launched  my  craft  as  an  explorer.  Like  Colum- 
bus I  found  driftwood  upon  the  surface.  I 
noticed  the  course  of  the  wind  whence  they 
came,  and  steered  my  vessel  accordingly.  Soon 
I  saw  the  green  islands  of  health  all  over  the  seas 


100  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

'of  reason.  Ever  since  then  I  have  watched  for 
the  driftwood  and  course  of  the  wind,  and  I  have 
never  failed  to  find  the  source  whence  the  drift- 
ing came. 

Believing  that  a  loving,  intelligent  Maker  of 
man  had  deposited  in  this  body  some  place  or 
through  the  whole  system  drugs  in  abundance  to 
cure  all  infirmities,  on  every  voyage  of  explora- 
tion I  have  been  able  to  bring  back  a  cargo  of  in- 
disputable truths,  that  all  the  remedies  necessary 
to  health  exist  in  the  human  body.  They  can 
be  administered  by  adjusting  the  body  in  such 
condition  that  the  remedies  may  naturally  asso- 
ciate themselves  together,  hear  the  cries,  and  re- 
lieve the  afflicted. 

I  have  never  failed  to  find  all  remedies  in  plain 
view  on  the  front  shelves  of  the  store  of  the  In- 
finite. 

When  I  first  started  out  as  an  explorer,  there 
were  some  remedies  in  bottles  and  jars  high  up 
and  low  down  on  the  shelves,  not  so  visible  as 
those  in  general  demand.  But  by  a  close  study, 
I  found  they  would  blend  with  all  other  drugs, 
and  give  the  wanted  relief. 

Thus  I  have  prosecuted  the  voyage  from  sea  to 
sea,  until  I  have  discovered  that  nature  is  never 
without  necessary  remedies.      I  am  better  pre- 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  101 

pared  to-day,  after  a  twenty-years'  voyage  and 
close  observation,  to  say  that  God  or  nature  is  the 
only  doctor  whom  man  should  respect.  Man 
should  study  and  use  the  drugs  of  his  drug-store 
only. 


CHAPTER  YII. 

As  an  Inventor — The  Tired  Arm — The  Reaper  and  Mower — 
The  Rake — The  Steel  Fingers — An  Invention  Lost — On 
a  Farm — A  Smart  Wife — Churning — The  Philosophy  of 
Butter — Another  Invention — Studying  the  Drive-Wheels 
of  Nature — The  Science  of  Osteopathy  Developed. 

As  Osteopathy  is  a  science  built  upon  the  prin- 
ciple that  man  is  a  machine,  I  will  have  to  draw 
your  attention  to  the  fact  that  I  began  the  study 
of  machinery  in  1855  and  continued  to  1870. 
We  had  millions  of  broad  acres  of  wheat,  oats, 
and  rye,  growing,  ripening,  and  being  harvested ; 
and  the  feeble  right  arm  of  man  was  the  only 
servant  on  whom  the  nations  could  depend  for 
their  bread.  That  year  I  began  to  study  the 
question,  How  shall  this  arm  be  made  to  enjoy 
the  benefits,  if  possible,  of  those  great  and  glori- 
ous words,  "  Forever  free,  without  regard  to  race 
or  color"? 

From  a  boy  of  fourteen  my  arm  was  a  willing, 
though  the  tired  and  sore  servant  of  my  side. 
My  father,  brothers,  and  hired  help,  with  all  the 
harvest  men  all  over  the  land,  seemed  to  send  up 
their  hopeless  groans  for  relief;  each  succeeding 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  103 

year  seemed  bringing  news  to  the  arm  that  you 
and  your  posterity  shall  ever  be  servants  and 
swing  the  side  cradle  from  morning  until  night, 
or  go  to  bed  hungry,  with  all  dependent  upon 
you. 

•At  this  time  the  skilled  arts  had  thought  out 
and  manufactured  a  mowing-machine,  with  a 
blade  or  sickle  about  four  feet  long,  so  attached 
that  it  extended  out  at  right  angles  four  to  six 
feet  farther  than  the  right  wheel  of  the  machine. 
It  had  a  bar  and  many  sections  called  blades,  so 
adjusted  as  to  fit  slots  made  in  fingers  attached 
to  the  sickle  for  the  purpose  of  cutting  hay,  native, 
or  wild. 

At  about  this  time  there  was  something  like  a 
reel  placed  upon  the  machine  which  would  push 
the  grass  backward  as  it  was  falling  after  being 
cut.  Then  by  a  rake  some  one  would  throw  it  off 
in  bunches  on  the  ground. 

I  saw  that  here  was  much  relief  coming  to  the 
arm,  but  the  labor  was  just  as  hard  for  the  man 
who  threw  the  grain  off  as  the  one  who  swung 
the  scythe  and  cradle.  It  was  profitable,  inas- 
much as  one  man  can  push  the  grain  off  as  fast 
as  two  horses  could  travel  in  a  swath  of  six  feet. 
So  I  began  to  reason  on  the  mowing-machine, 
and  thought  out  a  plan  where  I  could  make  two 


104  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL. 

long  steel  fingers  that  would  stay  in  place  and 
catch  the  falling  grain.  They  were  made  strong 
enough  to  hold  fifty  pounds  without  sagging. 
When  a  sufiScient  quantity  fell  upon  these  fingers 
to  make  a  bundle,  I  would  bear  upon  the  lever 
and  instantly  jerk  those  steel  fingers  from  under 
the  grain  and  let  it  fall  upon  the  ground  in  a 
bunch  for  the  binder. 

During  the  progress  of  my  invention  I  was,  as 
I  now  remember,  visited  by  a  repesentative  of 
the  Wood  Mowing  Machine  Co.,  located  some 
place  in  Illinois.  During  the  next  season  the 
Wood  Company  sent  out  reapers  with  fingers  to 
catch  the  falling  grain,  which  was  held  up  by 
machinery  until  grain  enough  accumulated  to 
make  a  bundle.  Then  the  driver  let  the  fingers 
fall  to  the  ground  and  passed  out  from  under  the 
wheat.  Wood  had  the  benefit  of  my  idea  in 
dollars  and  cents,  and  I  had  the  experience.  The 
world  was  at  the  beginning  of  a  reaping  revolu- 
tion. No  more  swinging  the  old  cradles  and 
scythes.  Eeapers  and  mowers  took  their  place. 
So  much  for  the  study  of  the  machinery  of  the 
harvest-field. 

Soon  after  the  aching  arm  had  been  set  at 
liberty  through  improved  machinery,  I  proceeded 
to  purchase  a  farm,  horses,  cattle,  hogs,  chickens, 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL.  105 

and  the  necessary  rigging  to  run  it.  We  had  a 
number  of  cows  and  a  great  deal  of  milk.  My 
family  was  small,  my  wife  was  sharp,  and  I  had 
to  churn.  I  churned  and  banged  away  for 
hours.  I  would  raise  the  lid  and  lick  the  dasher, 
go  through  all  the  maneuvers  of  churning  and 
pounding  milk  by  the  hour.  I  would  churn  and 
churn  and  churn,  and  rub  my  arm  and  churn, 
until  I  concluded  that  churning  was  as  hard 
work  as  harvesting  with  the  old  cradle.  But  the 
churning  brought  me  into  a  study  of  the  chemis- 
try of  milk,  cream,  casein,  margarine,  and 
butyric  acid,  until  I  found  that  each  atom  of 
butter  was  incased  in  a  covering  of  casein, 
similar  in  form  to  a  hen  egg.  Now  the  question 
was  how  to  break  the  eggs  and  get  the  shells  off 
of  them.  I  constructed  a  drive- wheel  eight 
inches  in  diameter  to  match  the  end  of  a  pinion 
attached  to  the  upper  end  of  a  half-inch  rod, 
which  extended  from  the  top  to  the  bottom  of 
the  churn. 

On  this  rod  I  had  an  adjustable  arm,  with  a 
hole  through  it,  and  a  set-screw  to  fasten  it  to  a 
rod  so  as  to  raise  or  lower  to  suit  the  quantity  of 
milk  in  the  churn.  Tin  tubes  were  fastened  to 
the  outer  ends  of  the  arm  in  holes,  so  as  to  dip 
up  the  milk,  by  these  tubes,  which  were  inclined 


106  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

down  for  that  purpose.  The  receiving  end 
through  which  the  milk  passed  was  one  inch  in 
diameter,  coming  out  through  a  half-inch  hole. 
Thus  you  see  the  tube  was  made  tapering  from 
receipt  to  exit  of  the  milk.  With  this  drive-wheel, 
pinion,  and  rod  that  crossed  into  an  iron  socket 
at  the  end  of  the  churn,  I  could  easily  get  a  mo- 
tion of  the  cups  equal  to  five  hundred  or  thou- 
sand revolutions  per  minute.  This  would  throw 
the  milk  and  cream  against  the  resisting  wall  of 
the  churn  with  the  velocity  of  three  to  five  miles 
a  minute. 

I  succeeded  in  breaking  the  egg  that  contained 
all  the  elements  found  in  butter,  and  give  the 
hungry  children  butter  from  this  new  churn  in 
one  minute  and  a  quarter  from  the  word  go, 
temperature  and  all  being  favorable.  Three  to 
ten  minutes  was  my  average  time  spent  in  churn- 
ing by  this  new  invention. 

This  was  the  first  time  that  I  had  learned  to 
rejoice  that  I  had  made  one  of  my  worst  enemies, 
the  churn,  the  footstool  of  amusement.  I  spent 
some  time  in  introducing  my  new  invention, 
until  the  summer  of  1874.  This  year  I  began  a 
more  extended  study  of  the  drive-wheels,  pinions, 
cups,  arms,  and  shafts  of  life,  with  their  forces 
and  supplies,   framework,   attachments  by  liga- 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  107 

ments,  muscles,  origin,  and  insertion.  Nerves, 
origin  and  supplies,  blood  supply  to  and  from  the 
heart,  and  how  and  where  the  motor-nerves  re- 
ceived their  power  and  motion ;  how  the  sen- 
sory nerves  acted  in  their  functions,  voluntary 
and  involuntary  nerves  in  performing  their 
duties,  the  source  of  supplies,  and  the  work 
being  done  in  health,  in  the  obstructing  parts, 
places,  and  principles,  through  which  they  passed 
to  perform  their  part  of  the  functions  of  life ;  all 
awoke  a  new  interest  in  me. 

I  believed  that  something  abnormal  could  be 
found  some  place  in  some  of  the  nerve  divisions 
which  would  tolerate  a  temporary  or  permanent 
suspension  of  the  blood  either  in  arteries  or  veins, 
which  effect  caused  disease.    . 

With  this  thought  in  view  I  began  to  ask  my- 
self, What  is  fever?  Is  it  an  effect,  or  is  it  a  be- 
ing, as  commonly  described  by  medical  authors? 
I  concluded  it  was  only  an  effect,  and  on  that 
line  I  have  experimented  and  proven  the  position 
I  then  took  to  be  a  truth,  wonderfully  sustained 
by  nature,  responding  every  time  in  the  affirma- 
tive. I  have  concluded  after  twenty-five  years' 
close  observation  and  experimenting  that  there  is 
no  such  disease  as  fever,  flux,  diphtheria,  typhus, 
typhoid,   lung-fever,  or  any  other  fever  classed 


108  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

under  the  common  head  of  fever.  Eheumatism, 
sciatica,  gout,  colic,  liver  disease,  nettle-rash,  or 
croup,  on  to  the  end  of  the  list  of  diseases,  do  not 
exist  as  diseases.  All  these  separate  and  com- 
bined are  only  effects.  The  cause  can  be  found 
and  does  exist  in  the  limited  and  excited  action 
of  the  nerves  only,  which  control  the  fluids  of 
parts  or  the  whole  of  the  body.  It  appears  per- 
fectly reasonable  to  any  person  born  above  the 
condition  of  an  idiot,  who  has  familiarized  him- 
self with  anatomy  and  its  working  with  the 
machinery  of  life,  that  all  diseases  are  mere 
effects,  the  cause  being  a  partial  or  complete 
failure  of  the  nerves  to  properly  conduct  the 
fluids  of  life. 

On  this  stone  I  have  builded  and  sustained  Os- 
teopathy for  twenty-five  years.  Day  by  day  the 
evidences  grow  stronger  and  stronger  that  this 
theory  is  correct. 

On  June  22d,  1874,  I  flung  to  the  breeze 
the  banner  of  Osteopathy.  For  twenty-three 
years  it  has  withstood  the  storms,  cyclones, 
and  blizzards  of  opposition.  Her  threads  are 
stronger  to-day  than  when  the  banner  was  first 
woven.  Her  colors  have  grown  so  bright  that 
millions  now  begin  to  see  and  admire  and  seek 
shelter  under  her  protecting  folds  from  disease 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  109 

and  death.  Mothers  and  fathers  come  by  le- 
gions, and  ask  why  this  flag  was  not  thrown 
to  the  breeze  before. 

It  has  taken  many  years  to  prepare  the  ground 
to  sow  the  seeds  of  this  as  well  as  any  other  truth 
that  has  come  to  benefit  man ;  so  be  patient,  have 
faith  in  God  and  the  final  triumph  of  truth,  and 
all  will  end  well. 


CHAPTER   VIII. 

An  Effort  to  Draw  the  Attention  of  the  People  to  Osteopathy — 
Failure  at  Baldwin,  Kans. — History  of  Baker  University 
— Prayers  for  the  Man  Possessed— Brother  Jim's  Scepti- 
cism— Faith  of  My  Good  Wife — A  Wandering  Osteopath 
— My  Story  in  Clinton  County — Treating  Asthma — My 
Studies— A  Hypnotist. 

Having  finally  solved  the  great  problem  of  Os- 
teopathy, and  established  the  science  in  my  own 
mind,  I  determined  to  try  my  luck  with  what  I 
then  thought  to  be  a  new  discovery.  My  first 
effort  was  to  draw  the  attention  of  the  thinking 
people  of  my  home  in  Baldwin,  Kans.,  to  it. 
Baldwin  is  the  home  of  the  Baldwin  and  Baker 
University,  which  had  been  located  there  by 
three  commissioners,  appointed  by  the  general 
conference  of  the  M.  E.  Church  between  1854  and 
1856.  My  father,  Abram  Still,  L.  B.  Dennis,  and 
Elder  Hood  were  the  commissioners  to  purchase 
site.  They  advertised  for  offers  by  towns,  vill- 
ages, and  other  places,  who  v/anted  a  great  uni- 
versity, backed  by  and  under  the  M.  E.  Church. 
Palmyra,  afterward  Baldwin,  made  the  offer, 
which  was  accepted  by  the  locating  committee. 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  Ill 

I  lived  in  Palmyra  at  that  time,  took  an  active 
part  in  rushing  the  scheme  on,  and  was  appointed 
by  the  commissioners  of  the  general  conference 
as  agent  with  my  brother  Thomas,  J.  B.  Abbott, 
James  Blood,  and  others,  to  select  and  locate  a 
spot  for  the  imiversity  building.  We  gave  the 
church  six  hundred  and  forty  acres  of  land,  all  in 
one  body.  Myself  and  two  brothers  donated  four 
hundred  and  eighty  acres  of  land  for  the  site  of 
Baldwin  and  Baker  University  (as  it  is  now 
called).  We — myself,  brother,  and  two  men 
named  Barricklow — purchased  and  erected  a  for- 
ty horse-power  steam -sawmill,  and  sawed  all  the 
lumber  for  the  university  and  other  buildings  at 
Baldwin,  as  Palmyra  was  called  after  the  found- 
ing of  the  college,  and  all  the  country  for  twenty 
miles  around,  I  was  ground  agent  of  the  work, 
and  was  five  years  engaged  in  sawing,  building, 
and  doctoring  the  sick  through  small-pox,  cholera, 
and  all  the  fevers,  and  representing  the  people  of 
Douglass  County  in  the  Kansas  legislature,  dur- 
ing which  time  we  washed  and  ironed  the  last 
wrinkle  of  human  slavery  out  of  the  State,  as  I 
have  told  in  former  chapters.  I  was  called  a 
good  doctor,  a  faithful  legislator,  a  sober,  sound, 
and  loyal  man,  abounding  with  truth  and  jus- 
tice, and  a  heart  full  of  love  to  all.     But,  alas ! 


112  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

when  I  said,  "  God  has  no  use  for  drugs  in  disease, 
and  I  can  prove  it  by  his  works" ;  when  I  said 
I  could  twist  a  man  one  way  and  cure  flux, 
fever,  colds,  and  the  diseases  of  the  climate; 
shake  a  child  and  stop  scarlet  fever,  croup,  diph- 
theria, and  cure  whooping-cough  in  three  days 
by  a  wring  of  its  neck,  and  so  on,  all  my  good 
character  was  at  once  gone.  You  would  have 
been  ashamed  of  man  or  any  other  animal  with 
two  legs,  if  you  had  heard  the  prayers  that  were 
sent  up  by  men  and  women  to  save  my  soul  from 
hell.  When  I  asked  the  privilege  of  explaining 
Osteopathy  in  the  Baldwin  University,  the  doors 
of  the  structure  I  had  helped  build  were  closed 
against  me. 

I  stayed  in  Kansas,  and  listened  and  laughed, 
until  ready  to  go  to  Missouri.  I  stopped  with 
my  brother,  E.  C.  Still.  He  had  been  poor  in 
health  for  a  number  of  years,  and  was  so  reduced 
he  could  scarcely  walk,  and  had  been  led  to  and 
turned  loose  in  the  pastures  of  hell  by  "allo- 
pathy," using  seventy-five  bottles  of  morphine 
annually.  I  realized  that  bad  could  be  worse. 
I  sta3^ed  three  months  with  him,  got  him  free 
from  opium,  and  started  on  to  Kirksville,  which 
I  supposed  would  be  the  next  cussing-post.  I 
stayed  there  three  months,  sent  for  wife  and  four 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  113 

babies,  who  came  in  May,  1875.  M}^  wife  was  a 
Methodist,  and  could  stand  cussing  pretty  well. 
She  said:  "I  will  stand  by  you;  we'll  be  cussed 
together;  maybe  we  can  get  it  done  cheaper." 
She  studied  economy,  and  was  as  gritty  as  an 
eagle,  who  loves  to  fight  for  her  young  ones.  I 
did  not  tell  her  that  when  I  came  to  Missouri  I 
found  a  letter  addressed  to  my  brother  Edward, 
from  brother  James  M.  Still,  of  Eudora,  Kans., 
stating  that  I  was  crazy,  had  lost  my  mind  and 
supply  of  truth-loving  manhood.  I  read  it  and 
thought,  as  the  eagle  stirreth  up  her  nest,  so  stir 
away,  Jim,  till  your  head  lets  down  some  of  the 
milk  of  reason  into  some  of  the  starved  lobes  of 
your  brain.  I  believed  Jim's  brain  would  ripen 
in  time,  so  just  let  him  pray,  until  at  the  end  of 
eighteen  years  he  said  : 

"Hallelujah,  Drew,  you  are  right;  there  is 
money  in  it,  and  I  want  to  study  'Osteopathy.'  " 
At  this  time  Jim  is  a  member  in  good  standing, 
and  doing  much  good  in  the  cause.  When  he 
happens  to  think  of  it,  he  says : 

"Osteopathy  is  the  greatest  scientific  gift  of 

God  to  man,"  and  regrets  that  his  mind  was  so 

far  below  high-water  mark,  when  it  was  held  up 

to  the  mental  feast  far  back  in  the  seventies.     I 

have  told  much  that  I  would  have  held  out  of 
8 


114  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

this  history,  but  for  the  reason  I  took  my  pen  to 
write  the  whole  truth  of  my  journey  with  my 
son  and  child,  "Osteopathy," 

I  spent  much  time  in  the  study  of  anatomy, 
physiology,  chemistry,  and  mineralogy.  During 
the  winter  of  1878  and  1879  I  was  called  by  tele- 
gram to  my  old  home  in  Kansas  to  treat  a  mem- 
ber of  a  family  whom  I  had  doctored  for  ten 
years  previous  to  my  moving  to  Missouri.  I 
treated  partly  by  drugs,  as  in  other  days,  but  also 
gave  Osteopathic  treatments.  She  got  well. 
From  there  I  went  to  Henry  County,  Mo.,  and 
spent  the  spring  and  summer,  where  I  built 
up  a  large  practice  in  a  short  time.  I  had  my 
office  at  Captain  Lowe's,  fifteen  miles  west  of 
Clinton.  Here  I  had  excellent  opportunity  to 
notice  the  effects  of  Osteopathy  in  chronic  dis- 
eases, for  most  of  the  cases  were  of  the  class 
known  as  chronic.  My  first  case  was  pneumonia 
of  both  lungs.  The  patient  was  the  wife  of  Cap- 
tain Lowe,  and  was  dangerously  sick,  I  cured 
her,  and  scored  one  more  success  for  Osteopathy. 

While  there  I  cured  all  cases  of  pneumonia 
that  came  under  my  care.  Hiram  Kepner  came 
with  a  pair  of  purulent  sore  eyes,  having  ulcer- 
ated iris  of  both.  He  was  almost  blind;  but  in 
two  months'  treatment  his  eyes  were  well,  and  no 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  115 

drugs  had  been  used.     I  simply  used  the  blood  of 
the  nutrient  arteries  only. 

At  this  time  a  case  of  erysipelas  was  brought 
to  me.  The  patient  was  the  wife  of  Captain  E. 
V.  Stall,  whom  drugs  had  failed  to  cure.  I 
made  a  thorough  examination  of  the  great  sys- 
tem of  facial  arteries  and  veins,  treated  her 
strictly  by  the  teachings  of  Osteopathy,  and  she 
was  well  in  thirty-six  hours.  I  have  since 
treated  a  great  number  of  cases  of  erysipelas  by 
this  law,  and  cured  all. 

From  Henry  County  I  went  to  Hannibal,  and 
opened  an  office  for  the  fall  and  winter.  Shortly 
after  I  was  established  in  my  new  quarters  a 
man  came  to  me  with  his  arm  in  a  sling.  He 
had  fallen  and  dislocated  his  elbow,  and  four  doc- 
tors had  used  four  ounces  of  chloroform  on  him, 
but  failed  to  reduce  the  bones.  I  set  it  in  about 
ten  minutes  without  chloroform,  and  no  machin- 
ery save  my  hands.  My  method  of  treatment 
began  to  attract  attention,  and  I  was  asked  if  I 
could  cure  asthma,  and  I  began  to  treat  for  that 
disease.  I  have  never  failed  on  a  case  of  asthma 
to  date,  and  after  eighteen  years'  practice  can 
sa^'  that  for  asthma  Osteopathy  is  king. 

Amusement  often  accompanies  annoyances. 
An  Irish  lady  came  to  me  with  great  pain  under 


116  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

her  shoulder-blade,  and  asked  me  if  I  could  make 
her  shoulder  easy.  She  had  asthma  in  a  bad 
form,  though  she  had  onl}'  come  to  be  treated 
for  the  pain  in  her  shoulder.  I  found  she  had  a 
section  of  the  upper  vertebrae  out  of  line,  and 
stopping  the  pain  I  set  the  spine  and  a  few  ribs. 
In  about  a  month  she  came  back  to  see  me  with- 
out any  pain  or  trace  of  asthma.  Her  supersti- 
tious nature  was  aroused,  and  she  asked  if  I  had 
"hoodledooed  her." 

"  Me  pain  is  all  gone  from  around  me  shoulder, 
and  divil  the  bit  of  asthma  have  I  felt  since  you 
trated  me  first." 

This  was  my  first  case  of  asthma  treated  in  the 
new  way,  and  it  started  me  into  a  new  train  of 
thought.  Since  I  have  made  a  careful  study  of 
the  disease,  and  do  not  hesitate  to  repeat  that  Os- 
teopathy is  king  of  asthma. 

I  cannot  say  that  the  case  of  the  Irishwoman 
who  had  charged  me  with  hoodledooing  her  made 
any  great  impression  on  me  at  the  time.  A  few 
months  later  I  found  a  man  in  great  distress 
with  asthma.  I  got  off  my  horse  and  "hoodle- 
dooed" him.  I  discovered  that  my  head  could 
open  just  as  other  clam-shells,  and  take  in  some 
small  amounts  of  reason,  until  I  had  obtained 
enough   knowledge  to  know  the  absolute  cause, 


ISN'T    THIS    MOSTLY    HYPNOTISM?"        YES,  MADAM,  I    SET    SEVENTEEN 
HIPS    YESTERDAY." 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  117 

and  I  was  prepared  to  say  yes  when  asked  if  I 
could  cure  asthma. 

While  in  Hannibal  a  very  well-dressed  lady 
with  sparkling  eyes  (and  diamonds,  too)  came 
into  my  office  and  said  she  desired  to  investigate 
my  method  of  treatment,  and  was  very  anxious 
to  know  how  I  cured  people.  She  had  heard 
that  it  was  faith  cure,  Christian  science,  spir- 
itualism, and  a  great  man}^  kinds  of  names. 
After  she  had  warmed  up  with  her  inquiries,  she 
said : 

"I  want  you  to  tell  me  the  honest  truth;  isn't 
this  mostly  hypnotism?"  I  said:  "Yes,  madam, 
I  set  seventeen  hips  in  one  day."  She  looked 
wise  and  skipped,  I  set  three  hips  in  the  pres- 
ence of  Dr.  W.  0.  Torrej^  ex-president  of  the 
Missouri  State  Board  of  Health.  He  had  diag- 
nosed all  three  cases,  and  decided  complete  dislo- 
cation of  the  head  of  the  femur  from  the  socket. 
He  timed  me,  and  I  reduced  all  three  of  them  in 
four  mijmtes  and  a  quarter,  he  being  the  author- 
ity before  and  after  the  operations. 

■I  will  draw  your  attention  to  one  more  case 
while  in  Hannibal,  and  that  is  a  case  of  painless 
obstetrics.  It  began  and  terminated  with  a  pain- 
less birth  of  an  eight-pound  boy  baby  in  some- 
thing less  than  one  hour  from  the  first  sign  of 


118  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

labor.  This  was  possibly  the  twentieth  case  de- 
livered by  this  method,  which  I  consider  worth 
all  the  midwifery  written  to  date. 

As  I  am  a  great  admirer  of  short  sermons,  we 
will  drop  details  and  be  dismissed. 


CHAPTER   IX. 

My  First  Case  of  Flux — Old  Methods — More  Castas — Believed 
to  be  Possessed  of  the  Devil — Prayers  from  Fools — A  Dis- 
located Neck — Leaving  Macon — At  Kirksville — Mother 
Ivie — Dr.  F.  A.  Grove — Judge  Linder — Chinn's  Cheering 
Way — Robert  Harris — A  Helpless  Cripple  —  Typhoid 
Fever — Feeble  in  Health  and  Purse — Punching  for  In- 
ebriacy — An  Ointment  for  Diomkenness. 

During  the  autumn  I  had  an  excellent  oppor- 
tunity to  test  Osteopathy  on  fall  diseases,  such 
as  flux  among  children,  bowel  complaint,  and 
fevers.  My  first  case  of  flux  was  a  little  boy  of 
about  four  summers.  I  was  walking  down  the 
streets  of  Macon  in  company  with  a  Colonel 
Eberman,  when  I  drew  his  attention  to  fresh 
blood  which  had  dripped  along  the  Street  for  fifty 
yards.  A  little  in  advance  of  us  was  a  lady  and 
two  or  three  children  slowly  moving  in  the  same 
direction  we  were  going.  We  soon  caught  up 
with  them,  and  discovered  that  her  little  boy, 
about  four  years  old,  was  very  sick.  He  had  only 
a  calico  dress  on,  and  to  our  wonder  and  surprise 
his  legs  and  feet,  which  were  bare,  were  covered 
with  blood  from  his  body  down  to  the  ground. 
A  single  glance  was  sufficient  to  convince  us  that 


120  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL. 

they  were  poor,  and  the  Colonel  and  I,  feeling  a 
wave  of  pity  in  our  hearts,  spoke  gently  to  the 
mother,  and  offered  our  aid  to  get  her  sick  chil- 
dren home.  She  accepted.  I  picked  up  the  little 
sick  boy,  while  the  Colonel  took  one  from  the 
mother's  arms  that  she  had  carried  until  she  was 
almost  exhausted.  I  placed  my  hand  on  the 
back  of  the  little  fellow  I  carried,  in  the  region 
of  the  lumbar,  which  was  very  warm,  even  hot, 
while  the  abdomen  was  cold. 

My  only  thought  was  to  help  the  woman  and 
her  children  home,  and  little  dreamed  that  I  was 
to  make  a  discovery  that  would  bless  future  gen- 
erations. While  walking  along  I  thought  it 
strange  that  the  back  was  so  hot  and  the  belly  .  o 
cold ;  then  the  neck  and  back  of  his  head  were 
very  warm,  and  the  face,  nose,  and  forehead  cold. 
I  began  to  reason,  for  I  knew  very  little  about 
flux,  more  than  it  killed  young  and  old,  and  was 
worse  in  Kentucky'  in  warm  weather  than  in 
some  other  States.  In  all  my  life  I  had  never 
asked  myself  what  flux  was,  and  no  medical 
author  that  I  had  read  had  told  me  whether  it 
was  a  being,  such  as  symptomatology  would 
divide  up  by  symptoms,  and  put  together  and  call 
the  creature  he  had  made  out  of  guesses,  flux. 

I  did  not  know  how  to  reason  on  diseases,  be- 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  131 

cause  all  the  authorities  I  had  read  or  met  in 
council  could  not  get  their  eyes  off  the  effects 
rather  than  cause.  They  met  pain  by  anti-pain 
medicines,  and  bleeding  of  bowels  by  astringents 
that  closed  the  issues  from  which  the  blood  came, 
following  such  remedies  to  death's  door,  and 
then  lined  up  for  another  battle  and  defeat  with 
the  same  old  failing  remedies,  and  open  fire  all 
along  the  line  on  symptoms  only,  I  wondered 
why  doctors  were  so  badly  frightened  when  flux 
visited  their  own  families  if  their  remedies  were 
to  be  trusted. 

I  knew  that  a  person  had  a  spinal  cord,  but 
really  I  knew  little,  if  anything,  of  its  use.  I  had 
seen  in  reading  anatomy  that  at  the  upper  por- 
tion of  the  body  the  front  side  of  the  spinal  cord 
supplied  the  motor  nerves,  and  the  back  side  of 
the  cord  the  sensory  nerves,  but  that  gave  no  very 
great  clue  to  what  to  do  for  flux.  As  I  began  at 
the  base  of  the  brain,  and  thought  by  pressures 
and  rubbings  I  could  push  some  of  the  hot  to  the 
cold  places,  and  in  so  doing  I  found  rigid  and 
loose  places  on  the  muscles  and  ligaments  of  the 
whole  spine,  while  the  lumbar  was  in  a  very  con- 
gested condition.  I  worked  for  a  few  minutes 
on  that  philosophy,  and  told  the  mother  to  report 
jiext  day,  and  if  I  could  do  anything  more  for 


122  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

her  boy  I  would  cheerfully  do  so.  She  came 
early  next  morning  with  the  news  that  her  child 
was  well.  Flux  was  in  a  large  per  cent  of  the 
families  of  Macon.  The  reader  will  remember 
that  my  home  at  that  time  was  still  in  Bald- 
win, Kans.,  and  I  was  only  visiting  in  Macon. 
The  lady  whose  child  I  had  cured  brought  many 
others  and  their  sick  children  to  me  for  treat- 
ment. As  nearly  as  I  can  remember,  I  had 
seventeen  severe  cases  of  flux  in  a  few  days,  and 
cured  all  without  drugs. 

Other  cases  of  summer  and  fall  diseases  ap- 
peared in  the  city,  and  I  was  called  to  treat 
many,  which  I  did  with  success.  I  soon  found 
myself  in  possession  of  a  large  practice.  I  was 
not  so  much  surprised  to  learn  that  all  kinds  of 
fevers,  summer  and  fall  diseases  could  be  cured 
without  drugs  as  to  hear  that  a  Methodist 
preacher  had  assembled  my  brother's  wife  and 
children  for  the  purpose  of  prayers.  He  turned 
fool,  or  was  born  that  way,  as  many  hurried 
births  have  in  all  ages  produced  idiots,  and  the 
old  theological  blank  poured  out  his  idiotic  soul 
to  the  Lord;  telling  him  my  father  was  a  good 
man  and  a  saint  in  heaven,  while  he  was  of  the 
opinion  that  I  was  a  hopeless  sinner,  and  had 
better  have  the  wind  taken  away  before  I  got 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  123 

any  worse.  He  stirred  up  such  a  hurrah  and 
hatred  in  Macon,  and  it  ran  in  such  a  stage,  that 
those  whom  he  could  influence  believed  I  was 
crazy.  Children  gave  me  all  the  road,  because  I 
said  I  did  not  believe  God  was  a  whisky  and 
opium-drug  doctor;  that  I  believed  when  He 
made  man  that  He  had  put  as  many  legs,  noses, 
tongues,  and  qualities  as  he  needed  for  any  pur- 
pose in  life  for  remedies  and  comfort.  For  such 
arguments  I  was  called  an  infidel,  crank,  crazy, 
and  God  was  advised  by  such  theological  hooting 
owls  to  kill  me  and  save  the  lambs. 

During  this  early  crusade  against  me  I  was 
called  to  see  a  young  lady  said  to  be  hopelessly  ill 
with  nervous  prostration  from  fall  heats.  All 
hope  had  been  abandoned,  and  she  had  been  given 
up  to  die.  At  the  end  of  a  number  of  medical 
councils  her  father  came  to  me  and  said : 

"My  daughter  is  very  sick,  and  the  doctors  say 
cannot  live."  He  then  asked  me  to  step  in  and 
look  at  her.  He  was  a  pleasant  and  appeared  to 
be  a  very  sensible  man,  so  I  just  went  to  please 
him.  I  found  the  young  lady  in  bed,  and  from 
the  twisted  way  her  head  lay  on  the  pillow  I 
suspected  a  partial  dislocation  of  her  neck.  On 
examination  I  found  the  atlas  or  first  joint  of  her 
neck  one-half  inch  too  far  back,  so  it  had  shut  off 


124  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

the  vertebral  artery  from  supplying  the  brain.  I 
carefully  adjusted  her  neck,  and  in  four  hours 
she  was  out  of  bed  slicking  up  for  company. 
Then  other  prayers  were  soon  sent  up  to  tell  the 
Lord  that  I  was  possessed  of  the  devil.  Her  pa 
said  the  devil  must  have  fifty  dollars,  so  he  gave 
it  to  me  to  send  to  my  wife  and  babies  in  Kansas, 
who  were  in  need  of  grub,  as  Kansas  was  then 
eaten  up  by  grasshoppers. 

I  don't  think  the  Lord  listened  to  such  howl- 
ing old  fools,  who  would  kill  the  cow  with  the 
carnal  sword  if  she  gave  a  bushel  of  milk  with  a 
drop  of  progress  in  it. 

My  father  was  a  preacher,  but  no  fool  for 
popularitj^  among  the  ignorant. 

I  was  like  good  old  Paul,  who  could  not  be  in 
person  always  with  sensible  people,  but  was  with 
them  in  spirit. 

Long  since  Osteopathy  has  had  a  big  welcome 
in  Macon  city.  They  weep  and  mourn  because 
they  did  not  know  a  truth  from  a  lie,  and  help 
me  build  an  infirmary  there  and  make  Macon 
the  Athens  of  learning,  instead  of  the  rival  town 
in  an  adjoining  county. 

I  bade  them  adieu  in  1875,  went  to  Kirksville, 
found  some  three  or  four  thinking  people  who 
welcomed  me  and  my  baby.  Osteopathy,      One 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  125 

dear  old  mother  by  the  name  of  Ivie  gave  me 
rooms  and  board  without  charge  for  a  month.  I 
had  no  money,  but  she  was  an  old  Baptist  who 
said  "  Feed  My  lambs"  was  her  religion.  Long 
since  she  has  been  at  rest,  but  her  kind  old  face 
will  never  fade  from  my  memory.  A  dear  man 
named  F.  A.  Grove,  M.D.,  proved  another 
friend.  He  was  a  man  of  principle,  and  finely 
educated.  He  came  to  me,  he  said,  to  welcome 
me  to  the  town  of  Kirksville,  then  with  about 
fifteen  hundred  inhabitants.  He  had  been 
around  the  world  and  found  that  some  spots 
grew  little  trees  of  progress.  He  and  I  were 
friends  to  his  grave.  He  helped  me  much  to  un- 
fold the  truths  of  this  science.  Had  he  lived  to- 
day, he  would  be  my  helper  in  the  flesh,  but 
while  he  lived  he  aided  me  to  oil  the  wheels  of 
progress. 

When  I  began  to  prove  my  work  by  actual 
results  in  Mother  Ivie's  hotel,  a  good-hearted 
man  of  sense  named  Charley  Chinn  rented  to  me 
a  full  suit  of  rooms  over  his  store,  though  he 
knew  I  had  no  money.  Judge  Linder,  who 
knew  me  from  a  boy,  came  to  me  and  said :  "  I 
will  stay  with  j^ou  and  help  you  for  six  months, 
for  I  see  truth  all  over  your  philosophy."  He 
stayed  through  the  summer,  and  did  well.     He 


126  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

had  mines  of  silver  in  Arizona,  and  left  for  them. 
I  never  saw  him  again,  but  I  remember  his 
strong  arm  and  good  advice,  and  will  love  him 
with  my  last  breath. 

Charlie  Chinn  acted  the  man,  and  while  I  was 
with  him,  although  he  was  a  "  Camj96eZ/iYe,"  I 
felt  as  if  I  was  at  a  good  old  Methodist  love-feast. 

He  always  had  something  good  to  say  that 
would  cheer  me  up  in  my  gloomiest  hours.  He 
would  pat  me  on  the  back  and  say,  "  Shout  on, 
brother,  one  day  you  will  outride  the  storm." 
He  never  said,  "  Your  rent  is  due,  I  must  have 
my  pay  or  possession  of  my  rooms."  He  proved 
himself  the  kind  of  a  man  to  tie  to.  I  tied  to 
him,  and  he  got  all  the  money  I  owed  him,  but 
the  debt  of  gratitude  I  can  never  pay,  unless  I 
take  the  benefit  of  the  bankrupt  law,  and  I  am 
opposed  to  that,  for  it  never  pays  debts.  So  I 
will  ever  let  the  debt  hang  over  me,  paying  a 
little  at  a  time,  and  leaving  the  remainder  for  my 
children  to  settle  when  I  am  gone. 

Early  in  my  career  at  Kirksville  I  met  Eobert 
Harris,  one  of  the  best  men  I  have  seen  since  our 
banner  felt  the  breezes.  He  was  a  mechanic, 
machinist,  and  an  ex-government  gunsmith.  I 
spent  hours,  days,  months,  and  years  vvith  him, 
— in  fact  all  the  time  I  could  spare.     When  I 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  127 

wanted  to  talk  of  man  as  a  machine  containing 
all  the  varied  parts  and  principles  of  life  in  man, 
and  the  wisdom  of  God  in  His  work  as  found, 
and  how  beautifully  all  worked  together,  he 
reasoned  that  man  was  the  machine  of  all 
machines,  and  all  others  were  only  imitations  of 
the  parts  and  principles  found  in  him.  The 
ability  of  God  was  to  do  work  to  a  finish,  I 
asked  my  friend  Mr.  Harris  why  man  was  so 
slow  to  see  and  adopt  a  truth  when  brought  to 
him,  and  I  shall  never  forget  his  answer.  It 
Avas  not  a  wordy  harangue  of  Greek,  Hebrew, 
French,  and  Latin  adjectives,  but  plain  and 
sensible. 

"Man  naturally  fears  that  which  he  does  not 
understand.  He  does  not  understand  life  nor 
death,  therefore  he  dreads  to  think  or  talk  on 
such  subjects."  He  ended  with,  "Only  few  men 
allow  themselves  to  think  outside  of  popular 
ruts."  That  was  the  phrase  of  all  phrases  which 
gave  me  comfort  and  support  when  men  rejected 
the  truth  and  did  not  accept  it.  Some  men  are 
by  truth  like  a  Texas  steer  is  by  corn ;  he  dreads 
to  go  near  it  because  he  does  not  understand  it. 
They  say :  "Don't  expect  too  much  of  a  man,  for 
many  cannot  think  till  they  evolute  some." 

After  a  while  I  found  a  few  beginning  to  think. 


128  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL. 

and  from  1875  the  change  has  heen  beyond  all 
dreams  or  realities.  To-day  Kirksville  has  a 
population  of  eight  thousand,  among  whom  none 
are  so  blind  but  that  they  can  see  that  Osteopath}' 
has  come  to  dwell  and  bless  with  all  other  great 
truths  throughout  all  ages. 

Among  the  many  interesting  cases  of  my  early 
experience  was  a  little  boy  who  had  no  use  of  his 
legs  or  hips.  He  was  about  four  years  old. 
His  mother  (Mrs.  Truit)  carried  him  to  me  for 
six  months  in  her  arms  to  be  treated  for  his  help- 
less limbs.  On  examination  I  found  a  spine  im- 
perfect in  form,  as  I  thought  from  my  knowledge 
of  the  spine  at  that  time.  I  proceeded  to  articu- 
^late  vertebrre  as  best  I  could,  during  each  two 
weeks  for  six  months.  The  mother  showed  that 
grit  which  no  one  but  a  mother  can.  All  sum- 
mer she  carried  him  to  me,  a  distance  of  four 
miles  through  the  hot  timber.  His  father  was 
sceptical  on  new  ways,  and  never  helped  his  wife 
try  to  restore  the  boy,  because  some  old  gimlet- 
eyed  blatherskite  had  told  him  that  Still  was  a 
crazy  crank,  and  could  do  the  boy  no  good.  At 
the  end  of  six  months  the  family  moved  West, 
and  I  heard  no  more  from  the  boy  for  ten  years. 
Then  came  the  news  of  the  father's  death,  also 
that  the  poor  little  fellow  had  grown  to  a  man  of 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL.  129 

one  hundred  and  sixty  pounds.  He  was  run- 
ning a  farm,  and  supporting  his  angel-hearted 
mother  as  a  reward  for  her  life-and -death  strug- 
gle through  hot  and  cold  to  save  him  from  a 
hopeless  cripple. 

The  story  was  so  marvelous  that  I  could 
hardly  have  believed  it  had  I  not  seen  marked 
signs  of  improvement  in  his  spine  before  he 
left. 

In  course  of  time  I  had  work  enough  to  feed 
my  wife  and  babies  and  pay  house-rent.  All 
went  fairly  well  until  the  fall  of  18T6.  I  had  a 
severe  spell  of  typhoid  fever  from  September 
until  June  of  1877,  I  was  very  feeble  and  not 
able  to  work  half  the  time.  By  this  time  I  was 
growing  very  weak  financially.  Times  set  in 
very  hard,  and  it  was  nip  and  tuck  for  my  boys 
and  I  to  keep  even  with  home  demands.  In 
1880  I  went  to  Wadesburgh,  Henry  County,  Mo. 
I  began  there  to  prove  my  work.  I  treated  at 
Clinton,  Holden,  Harrisonville,  and  other  places 
until  about  1886.  In  that  year  I  made  visits  to 
Hannibal,  Palmyra,  Eich  Hill,  Kansas  City,  and 
other  places.  Finally  work  became  so  plentiful 
I  decided  I  must  remain  at  some  one  place  and" 
let  the  patients  come  to  me.  So  in  1887  I  gave 
up  traveling  and  remained  in  Kirksville,  Adair 


130  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL. 

County,  Mo.,  to  teach  and  treat  and  build  up  an 
institution  of  which  I  shall  speak  later  on. 

I  will  conclude  this  chapter  with  an  amusing 
scientific  incident  which  occurred  in  Macon 
County. 

While  in  Macon  city,  during  one  of  the  public 
affairs  of  the  seventies,  when  a  large  and  en- 
thusiastic convention  was  about  to  assemble  to 
tell  the  existing  faults  of  a  Eepublican  adminis- 
tration and  to  turn  the  rascals  out  and  turn  more 
rascals  in,  one  good,  honest-looking  old  black- 
smith smilingly  approached  me  and  said : 

"  Let  us  go  in  the  saloon  and  have  something 
to  take!"  He  was  in  his  shirt-sleeves,  with  an 
abdomen  as  large  as  a  full  moon  hung  to  him, 
from  which  I  thought  he  had  had  too  much  "to 
take."  In  a  joking  way  I  exposed  about  a  half- 
acre  of  his  abdomen  on  the  public  street  before 
hundreds  of  people,  and  said : 

"My  dear  friend,  I  have  power  on  earth  and 
in  heaven.  I  am  acquainted  with  the  living 
men  and  angels,  male  and  female,  and  your 
mother  says  for  me  to  snatch  you  away  from 
these  whisky  hells!"  I  put  my  hand  upon  his 
abdomen,  punched,  snatched,  and  scratched,  and 
told  the  old  gentleman  that,  "  From  this  day  on 
whisky  will  make  you  sick.     It  will  make  you 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL. 


131 


vomit  whenever  you  smell  of  it.  If  you  think  I 
lie,  go  stick  your  nose  in  that  saloon,  and  come 
back  to  me."  In  a  few  minutes  he  returned,  and 
said  that  he  got  the  smell  of  the  beer  and  whisky, 
and  he  began  to 
turn  sick  at  the 
stomach.  He 
didn't  want  to 
stay  any  longer 
for  fear  he  would 
throw  up.  I 
watched  his  con- 
duct for  a  period 
of  seven  years,  at 
which  time  he 
died,  having 
never  tasted 
whisky  from  the 
time  I  told  him 
I  knew  all  about 
devils,  life,  and  death,  and  he  always  thanked 
me  for  rescuing  him  from  drunkenness.  He 
made  an  effort  to  pass  the  saloons  three  times 
a  day,  which  he  had  entered  and  spent  sixty 
cents  daily  for  over  twenty  years,  according  to 
his  own  statement.  His  wife  being  a  Christian 
woman,  on  learning  that  I  was   the   man  who 


I  PUT  MY  HAND  UPON  HIS  ABDOMEN. 


132  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

saved  her  husband  from  drunkeoness,  whenever 
she  met  me  greeted  me  with,  "  God  bless  Brother 
Still!" 

I  had  no  object  in  view  when  I  pow-wowed  the 
old  gentleman,  punched  and  twisted  his  abdo- 
men, and  told  him  of  the  awful  ending  of  the 
sot,  except  a  little  street  fun.  What  I  consid- 
ered nonsensical  and  foolish  had  the  effect  to 
make  a  sober  man  of  him,  and  saved  sixty  cents 
each  day  out  of  his  daily  labor  for  his  good 
wife  to  apply  in  the  necessaries  and  comforts  of 
life.  I  never  told  the  old  man  nor  his  wife  that 
all  that  pow-wow  was  simply  a  little  nonsense, 
because  I  saw  they  both  believed  I  was  a 
heavenly  messenger,  and  through  me  the  angels 
had  saved  her  husband.  Some  other  ladies 
brought  a  doctor  to  me.  One  held  to  each  arm, 
trying  to  beguile  him  into  entering  my  brother's 
house.     He  said : 

"Not  much,  Sally  Jane;  you  are  not  going  to 
get  Still  to  hoodoo  me,  for  I  like  my  whisky  too 
well;  you  can't  come  it!" 

The  doctor  was  so  thoroughly  convinced  from 
the  case  that  I  had  talked  out  of  his  whisky,  that 
he  was  afraid  to  take  the  remedy,  and  ran  off. 
Had  the  ladies  warned  me  of  their  intention,  I 
would  have  been  prepared  to  run  the  rabbit's 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  133 

foot  on  the  doctor.  From  all  the  varied  expres- 
sions of  his  face  and  eyes  he  fully  believed  if  I 
got  hold  of  him  the  love  of  whisky  would  forever 
depart.  Suppose  I  had  relieved  this  doctor  of 
this  thirst  for  whisky,  fixed  a  few  more,  and  had 
got  something  like  a  popular  craze  among  the 
doctors  to  be  treated  for  the  whisky  habit,  how 
many  hundred  thousands  would  I  have  to  punch 
and  spank  and  scratch  each  year?  I  only  judge 
that  they  would  amount  to  hundreds  of  thou- 
sands from  the  fact  that  those  whom  I  had  met, 
not  over  ten  per  cent,  could  say  they  had  neither 
bottle  nor  jug  round  their  office  with  decoctions 
for  their  stomachs'  sake. 

One  case  of  drunkenness  I  treated  medically. 
I  had  some  good  old-fashioned  volatile  liniment 
in  which  hartshorn  and  sweet  oil  were  the  chief 
ingredients.  I  was  walking  along  with  a  bottle 
of  this  liniment  in  my  hand,  to  treat  a  patient 
for  a  bruise  or  sprain,  and  met  an  old  acquaint- 
ance addicted  to  getting  tipsy,  as  he  called  it. 
He  was  sober  enough  himself,  but  his  legs  were 
on  a  big  bender.  He  told  me  he  had  a  very  bad 
headache.  I  assured  him  my  liniment  would 
cure  everything,  headache  and  all.  He  took  off 
his  hat  in  the  street,  and  told  me  to  pour  on 
some,  and  "lots  of  the  truck."     I  uncorked  my 


134  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL. 

bottle  and  began  to  pour  it  on  top  of  his  head. 
I  spilled  about  a  tablespoonful  or  more;  it  ran 
down  his  hair,  over  his  forehead,  and  into  his 
eyes.  He  got  out  his  handkerchief  and  I  got 
mine,  both  wiping  his  face  and  eyes.  He  said 
his  head  was  on  fire,  and  his  eyes  burning  out. 
I  procured  water  and  soap  and  washed  off  the 
liniment.  By  the  time  his  face  was  washed  and 
dried  he  was  very  sober,  and  has  never  been 
drunk  since.  I  would  recommend  to  all  ladies 
whose  husbands  get  drunk  and  talk  too  loud,  to 
grease  the  tops  of  their  heads  with  volatile  lini- 
ment, and  not  wash  it  off  too  quick.  If  they 
ever  get  drunk  again,  which  they  are  not  likely 
to  do,  just  grease  them  once  more  for  their 
stomachs'  sake.  This  liniment  will  cost  fifty 
cents  a  half-pint.  Any  druggist  will  put  it  up 
for  you,  and  you  pour  some  in  your  husband's 
eyes,  every  time  he  gets  drunk,  and  he  will  quit 
or  ask  for  a  divorce. 


CHAPTER   X. 

Reflections  on  the  Seventies — Choosing  a  Path  in  Life — What 
Life  Is — Anxiety  to  Leave  It — Child's  Pluck — The  Brain 
the  Only  Hope — The  Widow's  Trials — Brain  Triumphant 
— The  Greatest  Legacy  Energy. 

I  OFTEN  think  of  those  trying  yet  interesting 
days  of  the  seventies  and  eighties.  Questions 
like  this  sometimes  arose :  If  a  man  can  choose 
the  road  he  has  to  travel  during  life,  why  does 
he  get  into  so  many  that  he  regrets  having 
taken?  Many  of  these  roads  have  the  appearance 
of  paths  of  pleasure,  peace,  and  plenty  hefore 
one  starts.  All  inducements  seem  to  stand  in 
sight,  v^ooing  the  unthinking  to  come  on,  and 
the  novice  feels  that  this  road  is  the  one  which 
will  lead  to  rest,  wisdom  and  pastures  great 
enough  to  supply  all  that  mortal  life  can  crave. 

Days  and  years  may  come  and  go,  seeming  to 
show  us  trees  loaded  with  ripe  fruit  and  heaven's 
perfume,  blending  with  this  life  and  inviting  us 
to  lay  down  our  bundles  of  care  and  feast  forever. 
But  to-morrow  comes  with  facts  written  by  the 
red  ink  of  defeat,  opens  all  along  the  whole  line, 
attacks  and  cuts  down  the  green  trees  of  hope,  to 


136  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

decay  in  sight  of  the  one  whose  hopes  are  hlasted. 
Cyclones  of  fire  pass  all  over  the  shade  trees  of 
hope,  tear  them  up  by  their  roots  and  pile  them 
in  heaps  of  ruin  to  ever  remind  us  that  the  road 
we  have  traveled  only  leads  to  defeat,  and  that 
life  is  but  a  succession  of  failures.  We  are  left 
to  dwell  for  years  under  the  dark  cloud  without 
even  a  visible  star  to  cheer  i&s  on  our  tiresome 
journey  of  misery.  Not  even  the  feeble  flash  of 
a  firefly  tells  us  that  such  a  thing  as  light  exists. 
We  look  for  friends  in  vain.  We  pray,  trust, 
and  cry,  but  no  bread  nor  pillows  of  rest  come. 
We  throw  high  in  the  air  the  rockets  of  distress, 
but  no  mortal  friend  sees  the  signs  of  misery. 
We  feel  that  death  is  the  only  friend  left,  and 
would  gladly  give  it  an  open-armed  welcome, 
but  the  cries  of  our  children  call  a  halt  to  such  a 
thought,  and  the  deadly  drug  and  knife  of  the 
suicide  are  cast  into  the  fire.  I  have  long 
thought  I  might  at  some  time  be  called  to  stop 
my  useless  life  of  misery  and  hours  of  lamenta- 
tions. 

With  trembling  gait  my  wife  came  to  my  side 
and  said :  "  Look  at  our  little  boy  of  ten  summers. 
He  has  brought  us  word  that  he  has  found  a  pay 
job  for  a  month.  He  went  alone  and  found  the 
work."     I  listened  to  his  little  story,  and  when 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL.  137 

he  said  he  hunted  and  hunted  all  alone  till  he 
found  work,  like  a  flash  of  lightning  I  saw  hope 
and  joy  perched  on  a  stone,  with  all  that  man 
could  hope  or  wish  for. 

I  saw  the  brain  of  a  man  of  success  on  a  dish 
and  a  great  golden  plate  or  banner  floating  to 
the  breeze.  At  the  top  of  the  plate  I  saw  a 
picture  of  a  man's  brain — not  his  brother's  brain, 
nor  his  doctor's  brain,  nor  his  preacher's  brain, 
nor  the  brain  of  a  general,  nor  was  it  the  brains 
of  a  rich  uncle,  but  the  brain  of  a  man  who  had 
been  used  to  success  in  all  things,  and  the  words 
of  the  inscription  said:  "This  is  of  no  use  to 
others,  it  is  no  better  than  others  only  in  one 
wa}'",  he  had  the  courage  to  use  it  and  let  all 
others  alone." 

I  arose  from  my  couch  of  despondency  on 
which  I  had  lain  and  starved  for  almost  an  age. 
I  washed  my  face — not  your  face,  nor  the  face  of 
my  well-to-do  neighbor,  but  the  face  God  gave 
to  me.  I  washed  my  eyes  and  used  them  for 
myself,  saw  for  myself  and  self  only.  I  kept  my 
eyes  fixed  on  the  stone  that  had  the  emblem  of 
success  cut  in  raised  letters  on  the  face  of  the 
great  monument  business  victories,  of  all  times 
and  ages. 

I  learned  the  lesson  and  it  was  the  most  valu- 


138  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL. 

able  lesson  of  my  life,  that  one's  brain  is  his  only 
reliance.  It  is  a  judge  that  will  give  a  carefully 
studied  opinion  to  me.  It  is  the  judge  that  God 
sends  to  sit  on  the  great  throne  of  reason,  and 
He  has  given  a  judge  to  suit  the  case.  I  felt  to 
ask  but  one  question:  "Is  God  capable  of  select- 
ing a  judge  that  is  fully  competent  to  conduct 
the  suits  of  all  women  and  men,  and  advise  how 
to  succeed  in  making  a  good  comfortable  support 
for  those  who  have  a  just  claim  to  depend  on 
Him  ?  If  the  answer  should  be  no,  and  true,  then 
we  have  proven  that  God  is  not  perfect  in  His 
plans,  nor  capable  to  select  competent  oflQcers  to 
preside  over  the  various  courts  of  life.  Then  we 
have  discovered  why  man  fails  so  often  in  busi- 
ness undertakings. 

Another  question  arises:  Has  man  treated  the 
judge  with  kindly  respect,  and  acted  on  his  ad- 
vice, or  has  he  run  after  other  gods  and  ignored 
his  best  and  only  friend — his  own  brain,  which  is 
the  compass  and  quadrant  for  his  vessel,  that  shall 
land  him  in  the  bosom  of  mother  Nature  who  is 
ever  full  of  love,  success,  and  happiness? 

Just  see  the  legacy  a  poor  man  leaves  when  he 
dies.  No  money  nor  friends  to  care  for  his  dear 
little  helpless  ragged  babies,  his  wife  and  aged 
mother.     Not  even  a  house  to  shelter  them  from 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL.  139 

the  winter  storm.  No  money  to  pay  for  coffin 
nor  the  winding-sheet  of  death.  But  his  wife, 
the  faithful  friend,  says: 

"I  will  do  all  I  can.  We  will  live  somehow, 
pa,  even  after  you  are  gone.  I  will  keep  the 
children  some  way.  Don't  let  that  worry  you," 
is  her  consoling  words,  till  his  heart  has  settled 
down  to  eternal  silence. 

She  begins  to  plan  and  arrange  to  make  good 
her  promise,  given  during  the  last  breaths  of 
her  dying  husband.  Her  first  effort  is  cleaning 
and  renovating  the  little  smoked  but,  hovel,  or 
house  in  which  he  died. 

As  she  feels  the  pangs  and  hears  the  cries  of 
hunger  coming  from  the  mouths  of  her  four  little 
helpless  children,  and  groans  and  sobs  of  the 
dead  man's  mother,  she  rouses  herself  to  super- 
human energy,  and  on  her  own  back  bears  to  the 
rag  merchant  the  greater  part  of  the  ragged  ap- 
parel which  the  children  could  wear  a  few  weeks 
longer.  But  hunger  shows  no  quarters,  it  must 
be  subdued  in  some  manner  or  death  will  follow 
in  its  trail.  While  she  carries  this  bundle  to  the 
merchant,  knowing  she  would  obtain  but  a  few 
cents,  choking  sobs  stifle  her  sighs.  She  utters 
no  groans  at  the  thought  of  the  burden  she  has 
to  bear.     She  does  not  look  to  friends  for  help ; 


140  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

she  has  tried  it,  and  knows  it  is  useless.  She  has 
long  since  learned  the  one  important  lesson,  that 
her  brain  is  her  only  store,  and  from  it  must  the 
milk  and  her  supplies  be  drawn. 

Like  a  hero  of  many  successful  battles,  she 
buckles  around  her  the  belt  of  energy,  enlists  in 
this  fight.  With  the  string  of  thought  ties  all 
her  children  together  and  their  grandmother, 
then  takes  the  other  end  of  that  string,  ties  it  to 
her  heart,  assuring  infant  and  the  aged  that  she 
will  feed,  clothe,  and  shelter  them  or  die  in  the 
ditch  of  energy,  not  the  ditch  of  despair.  She 
says: 

"  Ma,  take  care  of  the  babies  while  I  go  out  for 
work !"  Then  sallies  out  on  the  errand  of  mercy, 
not  a  cent  in  her  pocket,  nor  a  friend  on  the 
earth  to  whom  she  can  look  for  any  assistance. 
Not  even  the  minister,  whose  Sunday  hat  never 
failed  to  receive  contributions  for  the  poor  and 
missionary  purposes  from  her  own  and  husband's 
scanty  earnings,  deigns  to  come  to  her  starving 
hovel. 

She  goes  into  the  world  willing  to  do  any- 
thing, wash,  milk  cows,  clean  houses,  work  in 
gardens,  clean  slaughter-houses,  or  anything 
honorable  that  offers  a  morsel  of  bread  for  her 
children.     All  the  day  and  half  of  the  night  she 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  141 

dashes  into  all  kinds  of  work,  and  by  her  un- 
tiring energy  and  honest  labor  catches  the 
eye  and  confidence  of  some  good -hearted  per- 
son, who  hastens  to  her  rescue  with  such 
questions  as : 

"How  many  are  depending  on  your  labor  for 
support?"  to  which  she  answers: 

"My  husband's  mother  and  four  little  chil- 
dren," 

"How  old  is  the  eldest?" 

"  My  eldest  is  a  girl  of  nine  summers,  the  next 
a  boy  of  seven,  then  a  girl  and  boy  of  five  and 
three  years  of  age." 

"Can  grandma  do  anything?" 

"Yes,  she  can  piece  plain  quilts,  patch  cloth- 
ing, and  such  work." 

"  Could  your  little  girl  rock  a  cradle  and  tend 
baby?" 

"Oh,  yes." 

"  What  can  you  do  outside  of  drudgery  and 
hard  labor?" 

"I  can  do  anything  that  the  brain  of  woman 
may  conceive,  from  the  Greek  verb  to  the  sau- 
sage-grinder. I  have  traveled  the  whole  journey 
of  the  classics,  painting,  drawing,  music,  poetry, 
and  all  the  painter's  brush  will  accomplish  and 
throw  upon  me  by  the  love  and  wealth  of  a  once 


143  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL. 

well-to-do  father,  who  is  reduced  by  misfortune 
to  want." 

At  this  the  inquirer  addresses  her  in  Greek; 
she  answered  him  in  Greek.  He  consoled  her  in 
Latin;  she  returned  her  gratitude  in  the  same 
language.  Though  poorly  clad,  she  performed 
upon  his  piano  and  played  to  his  satisfaction 
every  ^ir  and  melody  he  requested.  The  test 
was  to  know  if  she  was  a  woman  of  truth,  and 
was  what  she  said  she  was,  and  capable  of  filling 
all  stations  from  the  Greek  verb  to  the  sausage- 
mill. 

Like  a  loving  father  he  handed  her  a  draft, 
which  his  ready  hand  and  willing  heart  executed 
for  one  thousand  dollars,  saying : 

"My  dear  lady,  truth  is  my  God,  and  merit 
shall  be  rewarded.  This  is  my  mite  for  the 
winter  which  you  are  now  entering,  and  I  hope 
it  will  do  something  toward  keeping  you  and 
yours  warm  and  healthy  until  spring  shall  ap- 
pear, at  which  time  I  hope  something  far  better 
will  unfold  to  enable  you  to  make  a  living  for 
yourself  and  your  dependent  ones." 

You  can  see  what  her  brain  alone  had  done  for 
her.     It  was  her  friend  in  time  of  need. 

Who  would  ask  a  greater  legacy  than  the 
energy  and  confidence  which  God  has  given  us? 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL.  143 

We  need  just  such  minds,  and  if  we  use  them 
honestly  they  will  yield  an  hundredfold. 

In  this  picture  I  try  to  illustrate  the  truths  of 
real  life,  drawing  freely  on  scenes  which  I  have 
seen  in  my  struggle  to  unfold  a  truth  that  is 
bound  to  live  with  all  coming  ages. 

I  have  seen  all  the  roads,  cyclones,  and  the  red 
ink  of  trouble  and  dark  days  of  grief,  until  death 
contained  no  terrors  for  me.  But  my  little  child 
Osteopathy  came  to  me  and  said : 

"Dear  father,  you  must  not  cry  nor  feel  that 
all  hope  is  gone,  and  you  will  be  buried  by  the 
hands  of  charity.  You  fed  me  when  I  was  but 
a  babe,  and  I  will  feed  you  as  I  am  the  child  of 
your  brain.  I  feel  that  you  have  a  right  to  a 
pension  of  plenty ;  you  have  served  in  this  war, 
in  all  ranks  from  private  to  general,  and  I  wish 
your  name  placed  on  the  retired  list." 


CHAPTER  XI. 

Working  Alone — Success — The  Pile  Doctor  and  Lightning- 
Rod  Peddler — Dr.  William  Smith  Comes  to  Investigate — 
The  Lesson  in  Electricity — Motor  and  Sensory — What  is 
Fever? — Dr.  Smith  a  Convert — The  Success  of  Lady  Osteo- 
paths— Especially  Excellent  in  Ohstetrics — Diseases  of  the 
Season — The  Allegory  of  Joshua — Basic  Principles — The 
Too-much-talk  Man — Charter  of  the  American  School  of 
Osteopathy. 

I  WORKED  alone  with  my  investigation  until 
about  1892,  with  such  help  as  my  four  sons  could 
give,  treating  many  kinds  of  diseases,  and  heard 
much  talk,  good  and  bad,  for  and  against  the 
new  method  of  curing  the  afflicted.  Paying  no 
attention  to  comments,  I  did  the  work,  which 
was  all  I  tried  to  do  or  thought  of  doing.  The 
results  were  far  better  than  I  had  ever  dreamed 
or  reasoned  I  could  obtain.  People  came  in 
great  numbers  to  me  to  be  treated,  and  my  prac- 
tice yielded  me  quite  a  little  sum  of  money.  I 
made  appointments  for  a  week  or  longer  in  small 
towns.  While  in  Nevada,  Missouri,  a  man  asked 
if  his  son  could  go  with  me  and  "ketch  on,"  as 
he  termed  it.  I  told  him  it  would  cost  him  one 
hundred  dollars  to  get  me  to  be  bored  with  him 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL.  145 

or  aDy  other  person.  He  said  his  son  was  wild 
to  learn  something  of  this  method  of  curing  dis- 
ease. The  young  man  had  been  traveling  from 
place  to  place,  treating  piles  with  some  kind  of 
ointment  he  had  purchased.  His  education  was 
very  limited,  and  in  fact  he  was  ignorant  of  the 
human  body.  I  told  him  he  must  get  Gray's 
anatomy,  begin  with  the  bones,  and  complete  a 
knowledge  of  anatomy  before  he  could  be  of  any 
help  to  me.  He  said  he  thought  it  was  a  gift  I 
had,  and  believed  he  had  the  same  powers  to 
heal.  I  told  him  it  was  a  gift  of  hard  study,  of 
all  my  life,  and  the  result  of  brain-work  put  in 
on  standard  authors  of  anatomy.  But  he  was 
determined  to  study  the  art  of  healing,  and  I 
began  to  pound  his  head  with  Osteopathy.  It 
was  not  quite  as  hard  as  a  bull's,  for  in  about 
twelve  months  I  got  a  few  ideas  in  his  untrained 
mind,  after  which  he  began  to  travel  with  me. 
He  was  a  blank  to  begin  with,  but  in  the  course 
of  time  I  made  him  a  fairly  good  operator,  and  I 
am  happy  to  state  he  is  still  improving.  My 
next  pupil  was  a  lightning-rod  peddler  whom  I 
had  cured  of  asthma.  He  too  became  wild  to  go 
with  me  and  study.  He  was  very  ignorant,  but 
so  thankful  for  his  cure  of  asthma  that  he  was 

willing  to  learn  the  "  Great  Science"  if  I  would 
10 


146  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL. 

take  his  promise  to  pay  me  one  hundred  dollars 
some  time.  I  took  his  promise  (still  have  it)  and 
fed  himself,  wife,  father,  and  mother-in-law  for 
several  months  or  a  year.  He  left  me  after  a 
year  or  two  and  entered  a  medical  school,  and 
knows  but  little  about  either  system. 

Like  Paul,  I  tried  all  things,  good  and  bad,  till 
a  few  months  passed  by,  when  Dr.  William  Smith, 
of  Edinburgh,  Scotland,  came  to  my  house  to 
talk  with  me  and  learn  something  of  the  laws  of 
cures,  by  which  I  had  and  was  curing  diseases 
on  which  medicine  in  all  ages  had  failed.  The 
conversation  was  as  follows : 

"I  presume  you  are  the  famous  Dr.  Still  I 
have  heard  so  much  about  all  over  the  State  of 
Missouri.  I  am  a  graduate  of  medicine  of  seven 
years  in  Edinburgh,  Scotland.  I  am  now  selling 
surgical  and  scientific  instruments  for  Aloe  & 
Co.,  of  St.  Louis.  I  have  visited  about  seven 
hundred  doctors  in  Missouri,  and  I  hear  of  you 
and  Osteopathy  everywhere  I  go,  and  since  I 
landed  in  this  town  it  is  all  the  talk.  I  tried  to 
learn  something  of  it  from  the  doctors  here,  but 
they  could  not  tell  me  a  word  about  it.  I 
thought  very  strange  of  the  doctors  not  know- 
ing anything  of  a  system  of  remedies  that  was 
being  used  in   their  own  town   for   five   or   six 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  147 

years,  with  reports  all  over  the  State  of  its  won- 
derful cures  in  fevers,  flux,  measles,  mumps,  fits,' 
childbirth  without  pain,  taking  off  goitres,  pneu- 
monia, sore  eyes,  asthma;  and,  in  fact,  I  have 
been  told  you  can  cure  by  this  system  any  of  the 
fevers  or  diseases  of  the  climate.  As  I  have 
supplied  all  the  doctors  of  this  town  with  surgical 
cutlery,  they  requested  me  to  come  to  you  and 
investigate  your  method.  I  thought  it  but  hon- 
orable to  tell  you  I  was  a  doctor  of  medicine  of 
seven  years'  drill  in  Edinburgh,  Scotland.  The 
ones  who  sent  me  told  me  not  to  tell  you  that  I 
was  a  doctor  or  you  would  not  talk  to  me." 

I  had  met  Dr.  Smith  in  my  dooryard  close  to 
a  pole,  that  had  two  wires  running  from  it  to 
other  poles  with  connecting  wires  switching  off 
to  my  house,  and  others  in  the  neighborhood. 

I  began  to  try  to  answer  the  doctor's  questions 
of  how  and  why  I  could  cure  diseases  by  this 
method.  Looking  at  the  pole  that  supported  the 
two  wires  just  spoken  of,  I  said,  as  he  was  so 
frank  as  to  tell  me  of  the  many  years  he  had 
spent  in  the  University  of  Edinburgh,  and  that 
he  had  seen  the  Queen  of  England,  the  ocean,  and 
many  things  I  had  not,  I  felt  that  I  too  must  be 
frank  and  tell  him  that  I  was  but  an  ignorant 
man  who  had  spent  all  my  life  in  the  West. 


148  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

I  did  not  wish  to  take  any  advantage  of  him 
and  tell  him  I  was  a  philosopher  and  my  father 
was  a  preacher,  and  I  was  going  to  run  for  Con- 
gress, and  lots  more  that  my  brothers  and  I 
would  do;  but  determined  to  just  be  honest  with 
him,  and  tell  him  I  was  ignorant,  and  trying  to 
study  what  use  those  two  wires  were  in  elec- 
tricity. He  let  out  and  told  me  he  could  tell  me 
all  about  it,  having  had  a  practical  knowledge  of 
electricity.  He  explained  if  I  would  just  take 
the  trouble  to  follow  those  wires  I  would  find  the 
other  ends  in  separate  jars  or  vats,  in  which  I 
would  find  two  kinds  of  chemicals  containing 
different  elements,  the  positive  and  negative 
forces  in  electricity. 

As  soon  as  the  engine  was  fired  up  and  put  in 
motion  the  opposing  qualities  came  together  with 
such  great  rapidity  that  endless  explosion  was 
the  result  as  long  as  the  engine  kept  up  its 
action ;  concluding  with : 

"  Thus  you  have  the  electric  lights.  You  will 
find  powerful  fluids,  acids,  and  all  the  ingredients 
necessary  to  generate  electricity  in  the  vats." 

At  this  point  of  his  kind  explanations  I  asked 
him  how  many  kinds  of  nerves  were  in  man,  to 
which  question  he  kindly  told  me  two,  the  motor 
and  sensory. 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  149 

"  Where  is  man's  powers  of  action,  and  where 
is  the  power  generated?"     He  said  the  brain  had 
two  lobes,  and  was  the  dynamo. 
"  Well,  where  is  the  engine?" 
"  The  heart  is  the  most  perfect  of  all  engines 
known," 

"  What  runs  the  heart,  doctor?" 
"I  suppose  the  spirit  of  life  runs  it." 
"Is  it  voluntary  in  its  action,  doctor?" 
"It  is  involuntary  and  runs  by  life's  forces." 
"Perhaps  some  electricity  helps  to  run    the 
heart,  don't  it?" 

"Well,  I  must  say,"  said  the  doctor,  "the 
actions  and  whys  of  animal  life  are  not  fully 
understood  yet.  There  is  much  to  be  learned 
about  life's  action." 

Then  I  asked  my  new  friend  late  from  Scot- 
land and  St.  Louis,  and  much  later  from  a 
doctor's  office,  where  he  had  filled  up  with  beer 
before  he  started  to  see  the  greatest  humbug  of 
all  centuries,  what  effect  a  cake  of  soap  would 
have  on  an  electric  battery  if  one  should  be  put 
in  the  jars  of  fluids?  The  doctor  snapped  his 
black  eyes  and  said: 

"It  would  play  h — 1  with  it." 
"  Well,    doctor,    I    have    another    question    I 
would  like  to  ask  you."     He  kindly  said: 


160  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

"  Certainly,  I  will  answer  any  and  all  questions 
you  may  wish  to  ask  if  I  can." 

As  I  had  learned  that  a  cake  of  soap  would 
play  the  dickens  with  an  electric  battery,  I  pro- 
ceeded to  ask  him  what  effect  two  quarts  of  beer 
would  have  on  the  sensory  and  motor  nerves  of 
a  man  if  you  poured  it  into  his  stomach  or 
electric  jar?  The  doctor  hesitated  for  a  min- 
ute, and  said : 

"It  would  make  a  d — d  fool  of  him,"  and  then 
added:  "Darn  your  ignorance  of  electricity." 

I  asked  him  what  fever  was?  He  said  that 
depended  on  what  kind  of  fever  I  wanted  to 
know  about.  I  asked  him  if  there  was  more 
than  one  kind  of  fever,  as  I  knew  nothing  of  but 
one  kind  of  heat.  He  went  on  and  told  me  of 
typhoid-bilious,  scarlet  fever,  and  had  a  plenty 
of  fevers,  but  my  ignorance  had  been  so  dense  as 
to  not  let  me  see  but  one  kind  of  heat  in  all 
nature,  which  was  the  result  of  electricity  in  mo- 
tion, its  intensity  only  marking  the  degrees  of  its 
actions. 

I  gave  it  as  my  view  that  all  kinds  of  nerves 
had  centres  from  which  all  necessary  nerves 
branched  off  and  supplied  all  forces  for  blood 
vessels,  muscles,  and  other  parts  of  the  body,  and 
plainly  told  him  to  get  out  of  the  old  ruts  of 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  151 

ignorance  with  nothing  but  pills  and  stupidity 
behind  it.  I  asked  him  to  think  what  effect  we 
would  get  if  we  should  cut  the  vasomotor  nerves 
in  two. 

"Could  the  blood  vessels  act  to  force  blood 
through  the  body  and  keep  life  in  motion,  or 
should  we  cut  a  motor  nerve  of  a  limb,  could  it 
move?  If  not,  what  would  you  expect  if  you 
ligate  a  limb  so  tightly  as  to  cut  off  nerve 
supply?  Would  you  expect  that  limb  to  be  able 
to  move?  If  not,  would  you  not  get  a  similar 
effect  on  the  heart  or  lungs  by  interfering  with 
the  sensory  ganglion  at  any  point  between  the 
brain  and  heart?  If  so,  why  not  suspend  sensa- 
tion and  stop  excitement  of  heart  and  slacken 
the  velocity  of  blood  that  was  simply  obeying 
the  mandates  of  electricity  that  had  charge 
of  the  motor  nerves,  causing  by  its  too  great 
action  the  heat  which  you  call  fever  in  all  dis- 
eases. Do  you  not  address  all  your  remedies  or 
drugs  to  the  nerves  that  control  the  blood  and 
other  fluids  of  the  body?" 

I  gave  the  doctor  a  few  hows  and  whys  by 
placing  my  fingers  on  the  nerves  that  govern  the 
blood  of  the  bowels  and  brain. 

At  this  time  he  said:  "You  have  discovered 
that   which   all   philosophers    have   sought   and 


152  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

failed  to  find  for  two  thousand  years,"  add- 
ing: 

"I  am  no  fool,  and  as  a  doctor  of  medicine  I 
have  read  all  history  and  know  such  was  never 
known  before.  Your  town  has  a  lot  of  medical 
doctors  who  are  as  dumb  as  asses,  to  be  within 
ten  blocks  of  you  for  five  years  and  not  know  the 
truths  of  the  science  you  have  unfolded  here 
under  their  noses." 

As  I  now  remember,  the  doctor's  visit  to  me 
was  in  June  or  July,  and  after  spending  nearly 
all  the  afternoon  in  friendly  discussion  on  the 
science,  he  asked  to  come  back  that  evening.  In 
the  evening  conversation,  we  talked  of  teaching 
a  small  school  that  winter  in  anatomy,  as  I 
wanted  my  sons  to  get  a  good  knowledge  of  the 
science.  I  realized  that  the  doctor  was  fully 
qualified  to  teach  them,  and  as  he  wanted  to 
study  Osteopathy,  we  soon  struck  up  a  trade,  and 
in  two  months  he  opened  a  four-months'  school 
in  anatomy  with  a  class  of  about  ten,  in  a  small 
house  sixteen  by  twenty-two  feet,  which  I  erected 
for  that  purpose. 

The  class  advanced  as  far  as  all  of  the  bones 
and  muscles  of  the  arm  and  leg. 

A  few  of  that  class  did  not  return  to  finish 
the  study ;  others  did,  and  are  skilled  reasoners^ 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL  153 

while  those  who  failed  to  complete  the  study  are 
failures.  I  have  learned  that  if  a  student  is  al- 
lowed to  go  into  the  clinics  and  operating  rooms 
before  he  masters  anatomy,  he  gets  cures  mixed 
with  an  imperfect  knowledge  of  the  machine  he 
tries  to  adjust.  I  know  this  to  be  true,  because 
I  took  the  class  after  Dr.  Smith  had  stopped, 
with  the  study  of  the  bones  of  the  body  and 
muscles  of  the  arm  and  leg  only.  I  could  get  a 
few  ideas  in  their  heads  when  I  talked  about  a 
leg  or  arm,  but  could  advance  them  no  further. 

This  imperfect  knowledge  created  a  desire  to 
go  into  the  world  as  cure-alls  and  know-alls, 
who  want  to  say  and  write  all  and  much  more 
than  is  in  Osteopathy. 

I  had  never  taught  nor  had  I  Intended  to  teach 
the  science,  but  I  wanted  my  sons  and  daugh- 
ter to  study  anatomy  and  receive  a  drill  from  a 
competent  instructor,  as  I  believed  Dr.  William 
Smith  to  be  at  that  time. 

Since  then  he  has  satisfied  me  that  he  is  the 
best  living  anatomist  on  earth,  his  head  and 
scalpel  prove  that  he  is  as  good  as  the  best  of  any 
medical  college  of  Europe  or  America.  Since 
leaving  Edinburgh,  he  has  studied  and  dissected 
to  the  extent  of  the  demands  of  Osteopathy  for 
four  years,    which    makes  at  least   two    years 


15-4  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

further  in  its  qualification  for  the  purpose  of 
remedies.  Thus  I  feel  safe  in  saying  that  Dr. 
Smith  is  to-day  the  wisest  living  anatomist  on 
the  globe,  and  will  await  the  successful  refuta- 
tion of  the  assertion. 

It  took  much  cut  and  try  to  start  without  a 

dollar  or  friend  who 
had  any  knowledge 
of  the  science  I  was 
trying  to  unfold,  and 
mountains  of  preju- 
dice to  overcome.  But 
I  rather  liked  that, 
for  the  fun  there  was 
in  it.  I  have  often 
put  my  foot  on  the 
tail    of     my   sleeping 

WILLIAM   SMITH,    M.D.,  D.O.  "^  JT         O 

cat  or  j)up,  and  press- 
ed just  hard  enough  to  make  them  growl ; 
they  did  the  growling  and  I  got  the  fun,  so  the 
growling  of  my  opponents  has  been  food  for  en- 
joyment. 

I  have  left  the  lady  portion  of  my  classes  for 
the  last  of  this  narrative,  as  there  were  no  sloths 
among  them,  and  all  could  speak  for  themselves 
if  necessary.  As  justice  should  never  forget 
merit,  I  will  say  that  all  the  ladies  who  have  been 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  155 

students  in  the  classes  of  my  school,  from  its  in- 
fancy to  a  large  and  well-finished  college  of 
eighty  finely  furnished  rooms,  to  the  perfection 
that  is  up  to  date  and  is  prepared  to  teach  all 
branches  to  a  first-class  collegiate  Osteopathic 
education,  with  a  thorough  knowledge  of  all  that 
is  taught  in  medical  colleges  to  date,  have  fully 
vindicated  their  gender  as  instructors,  in  the 
classes  of  the  clinics,  and  general  instruction. 
They  have  shown  their  skill  and  ability  in  sick- 
rooms, and  in  successfully  treating  and  curing 
the  diseases  peculiar  to  the  seasons  of  the  year. 
They  have  proven  their  ability  in  obstetrics  by 
their  successes.  They  have  universally,  safely, 
delivered  child  and  mother  without  laceration  to 
the  mother,  or  the  use  of  forceps  on  the  child ; 
which  is  the  cause  of  so  many  fools  and  idiots 
among  children  of  to-day. 

It  is  natural  to  suppose  that  the  ladies  will  go 
deeper  into  the  laws  of  parturition  than  man  ever 
goes.  They  know  it  falls  to  their  lot  to  bear  all 
the  suffering  and  lacerations ;  therefore  it  is  reas- 
onable to  suppose,  for  the  sake  of  their  sex,  they 
will  continue  the  study  of  the  laws  of  parturition 
to  a  comprehensive  and  practical  knowledge  of 
all  the  principles  belonging  to  this  branch  of 
Osteopathy. 


156  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

To  me  they  have  proven  that  if  man  is  the 
head  of  the  family,  his  claim  to  superiority  must 
be  in  the  strength  of  his  muscles  and  not  the 
brain. 

The  women  have  done  well  in  the  classes, 
clinics,  and  practice,  and  are  as  well  worthy 
diplomas  as  any  gentleman  who  ever  entered  the 
portals  of  the  American  School  of  Osteopathy. 

I  will  try  and  give  the  reader  some  history  of 
the  luck  and  successes  or  ability  of  nature  to 
repair  itself  when  prostrated  by  heat,  cold, 
fatigue,  jars,  strains,  and  many  causes  that  add 
to  the  chances  to  be  overcome  by  the  extremes  of 
each  of  the  four  seasons  of  the  year,  and  illus- 
trate the  thought  by  the  following  allegory. 

I  am  at  some  loss  to  know  where  to  start,  but 
as  we  must  start  somewhere,  will  begin  with 
winter,  which  follows  the  fall  season,  the  time  of 
some  of  the  hardest  labors  of  the  year.  Men  and 
women  receive  some  of  the  worst  strains  of  the 
whole  year  to  their  systems  while  building  barns, 
cribs,  and  housing  fruit,  which  is  usually  very 
straining  on  the  spine  and  limbs.  Owing  to  the 
bracing  weather  of  the  fall  season,  with  all 
nerves,  muscles,  and  parts  of  the  body,  many  of 
those  hurts  and  strains  do  not  get  us  down  at  the 
time  we  receive  them.     So  we  go  on,  and  on,  and 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  157 

still  keep  on  foot,  up  and  around  till  winter 
throws  her  chilling  blasts  on  our  partially  dis- 
abled bodies  from  strains  received  in  the  preced- 
ing season.  These  hurts  and  strains  have  dis- 
abled our  resisting  forces  so  much  that  we  are 
unable  to  withstand  the  winter  storms.  First 
there  is  a  complaint  of  feeling  tired,  aching  of 
bones,  back  and  head,  till  we  have  a  chill. 
"Pleurisy  and  pneumonia."  Then  we  are  off  for 
the  doctor  and  preacher.  War  on  life  is  de- 
clared, and  as  a  chaplain  is  necessary  when  pills, 
whisky,  and  blisters  fail,  we  just  bring  the 
Eeverend  along  at  first,  for  we  know  that  pneu- 
monia will  kill  just  as  many  or  more  with  the 
doctor's  help  as  without. 

With  all  this  knowledge  of  forty  years'  obser- 
vation, I  with  some  misgivings  turned  my  boy, 
the  Joshua  of  Osteopathy,  loose,  and  told  him  to 
go  into  the  fight  and  help  that  feeble  woman  out 
of  misery,  and  restore  her  to  her  loved  ones  from 
that  monster,  pleuro-pneumonia. 

"You,  like  Joshua  of  old,  must  command  the 
sun  and  moon  of  death  to  stand,  and  they  will 
stand,  if  you  know  how  to  command  the  army  of 
victories." 

Joshua  answered :  "  Well,  pa,  I  will  try,  and 
report  to-morrow  how  Osteopathy  succeeds  with 


15B  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

pneumonia."  So  this  little  fellow  ran  to  the 
lady's  bedside  and  got  Pneumonia  by  the  arm,  and 
said:  "Why  are  you  torturing  this  poor  little 
woman?"  Pneumonia  grinned  at  Joshua,  and 
answered : 

"I  will  torture  her  as  much  as  I  please,  and 
you  can't  save  her  from  a  single  pain,  you  saucy 
little  pup."  Josh  put  his  finger  on  the  sensory 
nerves  and  told  him  to  go  on  with  his  pain,  if  he 
could. 

He  said :  "  How  can  I  give  her  misery  if  you 
don't  let  me  have  the  nerves  to  do  it  with?" 
and  left  in  disgust  at  Joshua's  actions. 

Joshua  said  to  Pneumonia:  "All  things  are 
fair  in  war;  you  had  to  stop  and  I  saved  the 
little  woman."  The  thankful  invalid  said  she 
would  bake  Joshua  a  pie  when  she  was  well 
enough. 

Just  as  she  made  this  promise  a  woman  ran  to 
the  door  and  called  for  Dr.  Joshua,  saying  she 
had  four  children  and  her  father  all  in  bed  with 
side  pleurisy.  Joshua  ran  over  with  hat  and 
coat  left  behind,  and  boxed  right  and  left  and 
punched  until  old  Pleurisy  fled,  leaving  all  in  the 
boy's  hands  as  trophies  to  the  flag  he  fought 
under,  for  winter  diseases. 

Oh,  how  he  made  measles,  diphtheria,  scarlet 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  159 

fever,  and  all  those  things  emigrate  and  quit 
playing  the  she-bear  among  the  children ! 

Josh  said  to  Diphtheria : 

"I  want  you  to  stop  annoying  those  little  chil- 
dren, for  they  must  go  to  school,  so  no  more  of 
your  meddling  with  them."  Old  Dip  said:  "I 
will  give  him  a  dose  that  will  tame  his  courage," 
and  by  ten  o'clock  Joshua  was  called  twenty 
times  to  the  sick.  Old  Dip  had  got  the  babies 
down,  held  them,  and  was  choking  them  until 
their  tongues  lolled  out,  and  said,  "Let  that  boy 
put  them  back  if  he  can." 

By  this  time  Joshua  got  his  promised  pie  and 
was  eating  slowly,  but  as  soon  as  he  heard  that 
old  Dip  was  choking  the  babies  he  was  in  a 
moment  on  his  bicycle,  and  ringing  his  bell  at 
all  crossings,  until  the  battlefield  was  reached, 
where  he  soon  had  all  tongues  back  in  their 
mouths,  and  told  their  mas  to  bake  them  pies 
just  like  the  one  he  swallowed,  in  chunks  half  as 
big  as  Hawaii. 

Next  three  great  big  giants  met  Joshua,  and 
he  asked  them  where  they  were  going.  They 
said  they  were  going  to  kill  three  little  boys  and 
two  girls.     Joshua  said  : 

"  Give  me  your  names,  please,  for  I  will  have 
to  report  you  to  the  authorities." 


160  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

The  meanest  one  said,  "My  name  is  Scarlet 
Fever;  I  live  on  little  blue-eyed,  fair-skinned 
children." 

Another  savage,  red -faced  old  veteran  of  thou- 
sands of  successful  fights  said:  "My  name  is 
Measles;  I  am  a  cannibal,  and  eat  human  flesh 
and  much  of  it;  but  eat  only  in  the  spring  and 
fall  seasons.  I  will  begin  to  eat  young  and  old, 
negroes  and  all,  in  about  two  weeks." 

The  third  said:  "My  name  is  Mumps,  and  I 
eat  all  ages  and  sexes,  white  and  black ;  and  we 
three  have  come  to  have  some  fun  with  Joshua." 

Four  little  boys  and  girls  with  their  grandpa 
walked  in  sight,  each  one  having  a  nice  pie,  and 
grandpa  had  some  boiled  ham,  bread,  coffee,  and 
onions  for  Joshua.  He  thanked  the  dear  little 
people  who  had  been  so  nearly  choked  to  death 
by  old  "Dip,"  and  before  you  could  say  scat!  all 
four  of  the  happy  little  creatures  had  their  arms 
around  Joshua's  neck,  and  hugged  and  kissed 
him  till  he  could  hardly  eat  the  pie  and  onions. 

A  pretty  little  girl  said :  "  Dr.  Joshua,  do  you 
love  to  eat  pie?" 

"  Yes,  dear,  and  if  you  little  fellows  will  stand 
aside  I  will  show  you  how  quick  I  can  eat  tv/o 
pies,  a  ham  of  meat,  two  onions,  and  drink  four 
cups  of  coffee."     Joshua  began  and  ate  four  pies, 


MY    NAME    IS  SCARLET    FEVER;    I    LIVE   ON    LITTLE    BLUE-EYED, 

FAIR-SKINNED    CHILDREN." 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL.  161 

six  onions,  a  ham  of  meat,  and  drank  sixteen 
more  cups  of  coffee,  at  which  a  timid  little  girl 
said: 

"Oh,  my!  didn't  he  eat  them  awful  quick?" 

To  which  grandpap  said:  "He  did,  but  not  as 
quick  as  he  poked  your  tongue  back  by  Oste- 
opathy." 

A  little  girl  was  suggesting  more  embraces 
and  pies,  when  a  man  pushed  open  the  door  and 
said: 

"Old  Mumps  is  getting  in  some  mighty  bad 
work  on  Dr.  Neil's  son."  Dr.  Neil  was  an  M.D. 
of  great  skill,  and  Mumps  had  decided  to  have 
some  fun  out  of  the  Scotch  doctor  by  seeing  him 
poultice  and  dose  the  child.  The  messenger 
asked  if  Dr.  Joshua  was  present.  "Yes,"  the 
four  little  girls  answered  at  the  same  time,  and 
grandpa  added,  "This  is  Joshua,  D.O." 

"Dr.  Neil  wants  your  assistance,  and  sent  for 
you  to  come  with  me  to  see  his  son."  Joshua 
told  his  guests  he  would  be  back  in  thirty 
minutes. 

Mounting  his  whizzing  bicycle,  he  was  off  like 

a  dart  for  a  trip  of   a   mile,  saw   the   boy,  and 

threw  out  a  peck  of  poultices  and  slops,  piled  all 

over  and  around  him,  and  said : 

"  Doctor,  please  stand  aside  until  I  loosen  the 
11 


162  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

breaks  which  have  stopped  the  lymphatics  of  the 
parotid  glands" ;  and  before  the  old  Mumps  knew 
what  Joshua  was  doing,  he  had  full  possession  of 
all  the  nerves,  glands,  and  blood  supply,  and  left 
the  boy  safe  and  the  mumps  subdued. 

Old  Mumps  gave  Joshua  thirty  cases,  believ- 
ing some  of  them  would  put  him  to  flight,  but 
all  to  no  avail.  He  captured  their  flags  in 
every  fight. 

After  a  little  while  Measles  and  Scarlet  Fever 
said: 

"  We  will  join  forces  and  make  a  combined  at- 
tack on  the  little  boys  and  girls,  and  their  mothers 
too.  Then  he  won't  brag  and  eat  pies.  We 
will  wait  until  Sunday,  and  seize  six  or  eight  at 
once.  These  cases  will  be  in  rich  families,  where 
they  believe  in  medicine,  and  when  Dr.  Josh 
comes  the  invalids  will  be  stuffed  with  drugs,  for 
old  Dr.  Jones  don't  know  when  to  quit  piling 
them  in,  and  as  Dr.  Josh  don't  know  anything 
about  drugs,  we  will  see  him  scratch  his  head." 

Sunday  morning  came,  and  Joshua  shaved, 
slicked  up,  and  dressed  to  go  to  church,  as  he  had 
promised  the  little  fellows.  All  were  seated,  and 
Mumps  and  Measles  prepared  for  the  attack. 
About  9  A.M.  they  began  to  swell  eyes  and 
throats  badly,  scoring  three  cases  of  measles  and 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL.  163 

five  of  scarlet  fever.  An  Irishman  named  Pat, 
who  was  on  tlie  outside  of  a  half-pint  of  poor 
whisky,  was  sent  to  the  church  with  orders  to  go 
up  to  the  pulpit  and  request  the  minister  to  call 
for  Dr.  Joshua,  and  to  allow  nothing  to  hinder 
him  from  getting  that  doctor.  Pat  rushed  in, 
pushed  the  sexton  over  two  or  three  seats,  and 
when  he  reached  the  pulpit  the  minister  was  at 
prayer.     Pat  whispered : 

"Mr.  Preacher,  could  you  ax  for  Dr.  Joshua 
for  me?"  The  minister  made  no  answer,  which 
enraged  Pat,  who  felt  that  it  was  a  case  of 
life  and  death,  and  he  must  have  Dr.  Joshua. 
Then  Pat  boxed  his  ears,  and  said:  "Ye  old 
blatherskite,  did  ye  hear  me?  I  want  ye  t' 
stop  yere  blatherin'  and  ax  for  Dr.  Joshua." 

Joshua  was  pointed  out  to  Pat,  and  he  took 
him  and  hurried  back  to  where  Measles  and 
Scarlet  Fever  were  getting  in  their  work.  He 
had  all  cases  sound  and  well  long  before  the 
minister's  ears  quit  ringing  from  Pat's  boxings. 
Measles  and  Scarlet  Fever  lost  their  flags  again, 
and  did  not  get  the  laugh  on  Joshua  for  his  ig- 
norance and  failures,  even  when  Measles  and 
Scarlet  Fever  combined  with  systems  full  of  drugs 
made  the  attack.  By  this  time  spring  diseases 
had  failed  to  baffle  Joshua,  and  he  was  ready  to 


164  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

play  with  the  little  girls  and  enjoy  the  flowers  of 
summer. 

The  flux  began  to  sicken  a  few  babies  and 
others,  and  Joshua  said  to  the  mothers,  do  this, 
and  that,  and  flux  cannot  kill  your  little  ones. 
Having  followed  my  son  Joshua  through  all  four 
seasons  of  the  year,  and  never  known  his  flag 
lowered  in  defeat,  I  will  end  the  allegory  at  this 
point.  He  believes  and  fights  under  the  flag 
that  nature  wove  for  man  when  he  was  placed 
on  earth.  It  is  the  law  of  God  given  to  man  to 
heal  the  sick. 

Basic  principles  must  at  all  time  precede  each 
philosophical  conclusion.  Thus  you  have  a 
center,  and  with  a  string  you  can  draw  a  circle, 
inside  of  which  all  evidences  of  the  truth  you 
wish  to  establish  may  be  found. 

A  truth  is  like  a  machine  made  for  a  purpose. 
All  parts  must  be  in  place,  and  power  applied  to 
suit,  or  that  machine  fails  to  perform  the  service 
for  which  it  is  designed,  and  the  object  is  lost,  if 
this  is  not  done ;  your  work  proves  your  stand- 
point of  reason  is  cloudy,  and  so  far  is  a  failure. 

In  this  area  of  reason,  you  have  a  circle  that 
contains  only  supposable  facts.  They  are  still  in 
some  doubt,  and  wait  to  be  tested  as  suitable 
evidences  to  be  taken  and  placed  on  record. 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL.  165 

You  must  remember  you  are  now  before  the 
supreme  court  of  reason,  and  no  pettifogging 
will  be  allowed.  You  had  better  get  your  truth 
at  once,  or  drop  the  hope  of  being  a  philosopher 
You  had  as  well  hope  to  be  an  eagle  as  to  try  to 
get  truth  established  and  not  select  all  evidences 
belonging  to  the  case.  Put  them  together, 
steam  up,  apply  the  power  of  test  to  all  parts,  and 
leave  out  any  part  not  found  up  to  the  standard 
sought. 

Never  allow  vour  eye  for  a  moment  to 
be  taken  from  the  "platinum  cup"  which 
contains  acids  that  eat  out  all  substances 
that  do  not  stand  on  the  everlasting  rocks 
of  truth. 

If  this  be  your  rock  of  reason,  your  success 
is  assured  forever,  otherwise  you  will  never 
fail  in  getting  disappointed  every  day  of  your 
life,  because  of  your  sieve  not  being  a  good 
separator. 

You  find  all  men  are  successes  or  failures. 
Success  is  the  stamp  of  truth.  I  will  say  all 
men  who  fail  to  place  their  feet  on  the  dome  of 
facts  do  so  by  not  sieving  all  truth  and  throwing 
the  faulty  to  one  side.  Do  one  thing  well  and 
let  the  rest  alone.  Did  you  ever  see  a  coon  climb 
two  trees  at  one  time?     If  he  did  he  would  be 


166 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 


like  a  man  who  had  his  head  in  many  kinds  of 
business  at  the  same  time,  and  fails  because  he 
cannot  climb  but  one  tree  at  a  time. 

He    is   not   the    man   to   put  at  the  head  of 

your   business. 

He    has   too 

many     ideas, 

and  may  do  for 

you  as  he  has     ^^  /.j^^mmJCc^^^.  > — -  '■>%^* 
for  himself,  ^W/^^^^/^-'    prove  he  has 

failed,  fall, 

and  pull  you 

down  too. 

Another  kind 

of  danger  stands 

in  the  background,  a 

too-much-talk  man ;  he 

talks    continually    and 

thinks  but  little.     "  Wind" 

and   wisdom   never   blend. 

Let  him  alone  at  the  start 

or  you    will  repent  in    the 

end.     He  talks  for  his  own 

self,  and  to  you  the  lie  will 

appear     sooner     or     later. 

Look  out  for  gah^  my  sons 

and  neighbors. 


DID  YOU  EVER  SEE  A  COON 
CLIMB  TWO  TREES  AT 
ONE  TIME  ? 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL.  167 

I  will  conclude  this  chapter  with  the  present 
charter  of  the  American  School  of  Osteopathy, 
and  the  records  of  the  institution  on  file  at  Jef- 
ferson City,  Mo.,  and  with  the  circuit  clerk  of 
Kirksville,  Adair  County,  Mo. 

State  of  Missouri. 
Department  of  State. 

I,  Alexander  A.  Lesueur,  Secretary  of  State  of 
the  State  of  Missouri,  hereby  certify  that  the  an- 
nexed pages  contain  a  full,  true,  and  complete 
copy  of  the  articles  of  association  or  agreement, 
in  writing,  of  "  The  American  School  of  Oste- 
opathy," with  the  several  certificates  thereon 
filed  October  30th,  1894,  as  the  same  appears  on 
file,  as  the  law  directs,  in  this  office. 

In  testimony  whereof,  I  hereunto  set  my  hand 
and  affix  the  Great  Seal  of  the  State  of  Missouri, 
Done  at  office,  in  the  City  of  Jefferson,  this  30th 
day  of  October,  A.D.  1894. 

[Seal]  A.  A.  Lesueur, 

Secretary  of  State. 

Constitution. 

Article  I. — The  name  and  style  of  this  cor- 
poration shall  be  "  The  American  School  of  Os- 
teopathy," and  shall  be  located  in  the  City  of 
Kirksville,  in  the  County  of  Adair,  and  State  of 
Missouri. 


168  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

Article  II. — The  oflBcers  of  this  corporation 
shall  be  a  president  and  such  other  ofl&cers  as  the 
trustees  shall  from  time  to  time  deem  necessary 
and  appoint. 

Article  III. — The  object  of  this  corporation  is 
to  establish  a  College  of  Osteopathy,  the  design 
of  which  is  to  improve  our  present  system  of  sur- 
gery, obstetrics,  and  treatment  of  diseases  gen- 
erally, and  place  the  same  on  a  more  rational  and 
scientific  basis,  and  to  impart  information  to  the 
medical  profession,  and  to  grant  and  confer  such 
honors  and  degrees  as  are  usually  granted  and 
conferred  by  reputable  medical  colleges;  to  issue 
diplomas  in  testimony  of  the  same  to  all  students 
graduating  from  said  school  under  the  seal  of  the 
corporation,  with  the  signature  of  each  member 
of  the  faculty  and  of  the  president  of  the  College. 

Article  IV. — That  the  corporate  powers  of  said 
College  shall  be  vested  in  a  Board  of  Trustees,  to 
consist  of  a  number  not  less  than  five  nor  more 
than  thirteen,  and  that  the  president  of  the 
board  shall  be  ex-officio  president  of  the  College; 
which  board  shall  have  perpetual  succession,  with 
powers  from  time  to  time  to  fill  all  vacancies  in 
their  body,  and  that  A.  T.  Still,  Harry  M.  Still, 
Charles  E.  Still,  Herman  T.  Still,  Thomas  A. 
Still,  and  Blanche  Still  shall  be  the  first  members 
of  said  board,  and  shall  have  power  to  increase 
their  number  as  hereinbefore  specified. 

Article  V. — That  the  said  board  of  trustees 
and  their  successors,  for  a  period  of  fifty  years, 


iJHt      L-Jk     t^^ 

(Ljgi    urn    l:^ 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  169 

shall  have  full  power  and  authority  to  appoint  a 
faculty  to  teach  such  sciences  and  arts  as  are 
usually  taught  in  medical  colleges,  and  in  addi- 
tion thereto,  the  science  of  Osteopathy ;  to  fill  va- 
cancies in  the  faculty ;  to  remove  the  same ;  to  de- 
clare the  tenures  and  duties  of  all  officers  and 
teachers,  and  fix  their  compensation  therefor ;  to 
provide  a  suitable  building  and  furnish  the  same, 
arid  to  fix  the  amount  of  tuition  to  be  charged 
students,  the  number  and  length  of  terms  stu- 
dents shall  attend  such  College  before  graduat- 
ing, the  qualifications  necessary  to  admit  stu- 
dents into  said  College;  to  grant  diplomas  to  all 
graduates  who  shall  attain  an  average  grade  of 
90  per  cent,  on  a  scale  of  100  per  cent,  in  each 
and  every  branch  required  to  be  taught  and  stud- 
ied in  the  curriculum  of  said  College.  All  diplo- 
mas granted  shall  show  the  grade  made  in  each 
branch  taught ;  and  to  make  all  by-laws  necessary 
for  carrying  into  effect  the  objects  of  this  corpo- 
ration not  inconsistent  with  the  laws  of  the  State 
of  Missouri  and  the  constitution  thereof. 

A.  T.  Still. 

Harry  M.  Still. 

Blanche  Still. 

T.  A.  Still. 

State  of  Missouri  |  o  o 
County  of  Adair  )     '   * 

On  the  22d  day  of  October,    1894,  before  me 
personally  appeared  A.  T.  Still,  Harry  M.  Still, 


170  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

Blanche  Still,  and  Thomas  A.  Still,  to  me  known 
to  be  the  same  persons  described  in,  and  who 
executed  the  foregoing  instrument,  and  acknowl- 
edged that  they  executed  the  same  as  their  free 
act  and  deed. 

In  testimony  whereof,  I  have  hereunto  set  my 
hand  and  affixed  my  official  seal  at  my  office  in 
Kirksville,  Mo.,  the  day  and  year  first  above 
written.     My  term  expires  May  2d,  1895. 

[Seal]  H.  E.  Patterson, 

Notary  Public. 

Filed  October  22d,  1894. 

A.    P.    HiBBS, 

Circuit  Clerk. 

Beit  remembered  that  at  a  term  of  the  Circuit 
Court  of  Adair  County,  Mo.,  begun  and  held  at 
the  court-house  in  the  City  of  Kirksville,  in  said 
County,  on  the  fourth  Monday  in  October,  1894, 
being  the  22d  day  of  October,  there  were  present 
Hon.  Andrew  Ellison,  Judge  of  the  Second  Ju- 
dicial Circuit  of  Missouri;  George  K.  Rupe, 
Sheriff;  A.  P.  Hibbs,  Clerk;  and  James  B.  Dod- 
son.  Prosecuting  Attorney  for  Adair  County; 
and  on  the  4th  day  of  said  term,  being  the 
25th  day  of  October,  1894,  the  following  pro- 
ceedings herein  were  had,  to  wit: 

A.  T.  Still,  President,  et  al.  Petition  for  pro 
forma  decree  of  incorporation  of  the  American 
School  of  Osteopathy. 

Now  at  this  day  the  petition  of  A.   T.  Still, 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL  171 

President,  and  Harry  M.  Still,  Charles  E.  Still, 
Herman  T,  Still,  and  Blanche  Still,  trustees, 
coming  on  to  be  heard,  which  petition  has  been 
on  file  more  than  three  days  in  this  court,  the 
matters  and  facts  all  and  singular  are  submitted 
to  the  court ;  and  after  fully  examining  into  the 
matter,  and  hearing  all  the  evidence  adduced  by 
the  petitioners,  and  an  examination  as  well  of  the 
articles  of  agreements  and  purposes  of  the  associ- 
ation, the  court  finds  and  is  of  the  opinion  that 
such  articles  of  agreement  and  the  purposes  of 
the  association  come  properly  within  the  purview 
of  Article  Ten,  Chapter  Forty -two.  Revised  Stat- 
utes of  the  State  of  Missouri  of  1889,  entitled 
Benevolent,  Religious,  Scientific,  Fraternal,  Ben- 
eficial, Educational,  and  Miscellaneous  Associa- 
tions, and  are  not  inconsistent  with  the  constitu- 
tion of  laws  of  the  United  States  or  of  this  State. 
Wherefore  this  court  orders,  adjudges,  and 
decrees  that  the  foregoing  findings  and  judg- 
ments be  entered  on  record  by  the  clerk  of  this 
court,  and  that  the  petitioners  be  adjudged  enti- 
tled to  the  decree  as  prayed  in  their  petition  incor- 
porating them  under  the  corporate  name  of  the 
American  School  of  Osteopathy  as  a  college  with 
all  the  powers,  rights,  and  privileges  granted  to 
such  associations  by  virtue  of  Article  Ten,  Chap- 
ter Forty-two,  Revised  Statutes  of  the  State  of 
Missouri,  1889. 


173  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL. 

State  of  Missouri  )  ^  c; 
County  of  Adair) 

I,  A.  P.  Hibbs,  clerk  of  the  Circuit  Court  in  and 
for  said  County,  hereby  certify  that  the  above  and 
foregoing  to  be  a  true  copy  of  the  proceedings  of 
our  said  Circuit  Court  on  the  day  and  year  above 
written,  as  the  same  appears  of  record  in  my 
oflSce, 

In  testimony  whereof  I  have  hereunto  set  my 
hand  and  affixed  the  seal  of  said  court  at  my 
office  in  Kirksville,  this  the  26th  day  of  October, 
1894. 

[Seal.]  A.  P.  Hibbs,  Clerk. 

By  W.  J.  ASHLOCK,  D.C. 

Filed  and  copy  issued,  October  30th,   1894. 

A.  A.  Lesueur, 

Secretary  of  State. 


MRS.  ANNIE    MORRIS, 

THE  AMENUEN6IS   WHO   WROTE    THIS   VOLUME   ACCORDING  TO   MY   DICTATION. 


CHAPTEK   XII. 

Introduction  to  Lectures — Honest  Criticism  Invited — Not  a 
Writer  of  Books — Old  Remedies  and  Death — To  Study- 
Osteopathy — Thorough  Knowledge  of  Anatomy  Essential 
—Woes  of  a  Bald-Headed  Doctor— The  World  on  Trial- 
Judge  of  the  Living  and  the  Dead — The  Trial  Proceeds — 
For  Twenty  Thousand  Years — Struggles  of  Nations — 
Soldier  Under  the  New  Flag. 

In  approaching  a  discussion  of  this  method  of 
healing  diseases,  which,  for  distinction,  I  have 
named  "Osteopathy,"  I  will  not  ask  the  public 
to  be  mild  in  their  criticisms  of  this,  my  first 
effort  as  an  author.  I  only  ask  of  the  reader  to 
read  what  I  have  written.  Go  where  I  send 
you ;  think  where  I  ask  you  to  think ;  mark  the 
faulty  and  hold  to  the  good.  This  is  written 
for  future  generations,  not  merely  the  present. 
The  men  and  women  unborn  will  be  the  jurors. 
The  verdict  to  be  given  by  the  wisdom  of  time  has 
much  to  do  with  my  consenting,  at  this  date  of 
life,  to  take  up  the  role  of  author.  I  hope  all  who 
may  read  after  my  pen  will  see  that  I  am  fully 
convinced  that  God,  or  the  mind  of  nature,  has 
proven  His  ability  to  plan  (if  plans  be  necessary) 


174  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

and  to  make  or  furnish  laws  of  self,  without  pat- 
terns, for  the  myriads  of  forms  of  animated  be- 
ings; and  to  thoroughly  equip  them  for  the 
duties  of  life,  with  their  engines  and  batteries  of 
motor  force  all  in  action.  Each  part  is  fully 
armed  for  duty,  empowered  to  select  and  appro- 
priate to  itself  from  the  great  laboratory  of  na- 
ture such  forces  as  are  needed  to  enable  it  to 
discharge  the  duties  peculiar  to  its  office  in  the 
economy  of  life.  In  short,  that  the  all-knowing 
Architect  has  cut  and  numbered  each  part  to  fit 
its  place  and  discharge  its  duties  in  all  buildings 
on  animal  forms  while  the  suns,  stars,  moons, 
and  comets  all  obey  the  one  eternal  law  of  life 
and  motion.  With  these  truths  in  mind  I  will 
begin  my  discussions  and  lectures.  I  do  not 
think  I  was  born  and  sent  to  your  planet  a  "book 
writer,-'  but  it  is  perhaps  better  that  I  leave 
small  legacy  than  none  at  all. 

Ever  since  time  found  place  for  the  human 
race,  the  love  of  life,  of  self  and  kind  has  caused 
that  grand  being  containing  Mind,  Matter,  and 
Motion,  and  given  in  form,  "and  endowed  with 
the  attributes  of  God,"  which  wants  to  live  on 
and  on  forever.  It  has  been  the  labor  of  all 
minds,  of  all  nations,  tongues,  and  races,  to  suc- 
cessfully solve  the  problem  of  ease-getting  and 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  175 

life-lengthening.  For  this  i^urpose  explorers  have 
fathomed  the  oceans,  dissolved  the  mountains, 
used  the  living  and  dead  of  the  animal,  mineral, 
and  vegetable  kingdoms  to  find  that  substance 
which  would  hold  life  in  friendly  relation  with 
visible  matters,  that  we  might  live  to  love  our 
loved  ones;  and  that  their  forms  might  never 
fade  to  eternal  distances  beyond  the  power  of 
all  vision,  and  dwell  forever  in  the  too-far- 
away. 

Until  the  birth  of  Osteopathy,  in  all  combats 
between  the  known  remedies  and  disease,  death 
has  never  lost  a  single  victory  when  met  by  the 
wisest  generals  of  drugs.  Not  a  known  victory 
for  drugs  stands  upon  record  to-day,  without 
doubt  or  debate.  The  generals  of  medicine 
have  fought  valiantly,  but  all  stack  arms  to  the 
black  flag,  that  uses  man's  ignorance  as  its  best 
ammunition.  Our  M.D.'s  are  good  men.  They 
have  fought  like  brave  soldiers,  worthy  of  the 
best  steel,  and  should  be  upon  the  pension -rolls, 
with  a  large  allowance  from  the  congress  of  love 
for  the  great  wounds  of  body  and  mind  which 
they  have  received  in  endeavoring  to  defend  the 
merits  of  their  claims.  None  but  the  least  grate- 
ful would  object  to  all  M.D.'s  having  a  pension 
for  wounds  received  in  defending  their  dead  gen- 


176  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

erals  who  lay  gashed  all  over  by  the  vultures  of 
destruction.  In  my  opinion,  they  are  totally  dis- 
abled from  doing  any  kind  of  manual  labor,  and 
should  receive  full  $72  per  month.  Just  listen 
to  them  tell  of  the  plucky  fights  they  have  sus- 
tained against  such  great  odds.  They  say:  "  We 
are  not  whipped,  but  overpowered,  and  will  fight 
the  same  enemy  again  at  every  turn  with  the 
same  old  war-clubs." 

The  reader  may  think  our  introduction  to  these 
essays  or  talks  rather  long,  but  it  has  been  many 
thousand  years  coming,  and  naturally  must  be 
lengthy. 

At  first  thought  a  treatise  on  disease  by  a 
"crank"  does  not  come  to  the  stranger  with 
much  solemnity,  but  as  persecuted  truth  catches 
the  eye  of  reason,  a  smile  appears  upon  the  face 
of  the  cool-minded  thinker,  who  wisely  asks: 

"May  I  have  a  chance  to  investigate?"  All 
philosophers  are  pleased  to  have  such  persons 
come,  for  they  so  seldom  appear  that  they  never 
become  burdensome  to  the  thinker,  but  are 
angels'  food  to  the  mind,  and  found  where  it  was 
least  expected. 

I  am  only  able  to  give  you  an  experience  of 
less  than  a  half -century  in  this  science.  I  have 
explored  by  reading   and   inquiry   all   that   has 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  177 

been  written  on  kindred  subjects,  hoping  to  get 
something  on  this  great  law  written  by  the  an- 
cient philosophers,  but  came  back  as  empty  as  I 
started.  Quite  a  number  of  3"ears  have  passed 
since  I  began  to  test  the  laws  of  nature's  God 
as  a  system  of  true  healing  principles  that  would 
give  nature  a  chance  to  recapture  the  ports  of 
health.  Success  followed  my  efforts  in  such 
quick  succession  that  I  was  surprised  to  find 
God  at  His  post  at  all  times  and  places.  His 
pellets  of  life  are  always  full  and  never  fail,  giv- 
ing more  health  in  less  time  than  the  most  ex- 
alted ideal  of  the  most  sanguine  lover  of  nature 
and  nature's  ability  to  repair  any  and  all  parts  of 
the  machinery  of  life  could  hope  for.  Having 
proven  to  my  mind  that  God  goes  into  the  mi- 
nutiae of  all  His  works,  I  felt  it  a  privilege  if  not 
a  duty  to  at  least  make  an  effort  to  bring  this 
science  to  the  front  as  much  as  I  can  in  my  day, 
and  as  I  understand  it  at  the  present  time. 

Age  after  age  has  passed,  and  if  this  science 
was  ever  known,  the  historians  have  failed  to 
record  any  part  of  it  for  the  use  of  their  succes- 
sors. I  feel  it  is  a  debt  I  owe  to  the  nineteenth 
century  to  at  least  begin  to  fill  that  blank  by  the 
truths  of  Osteopathy  which  have  been  before  all 

centuries  of  the  past,  asking : 
12 


178  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

"And  shall  I  travel  the  lonely  road  of  another 
eternity,  and  not  be  noticed  b^  man?" 

As  we  get  our  knowledge  by  littles,  we  should 
be  willing  to  impart  by  the  same  measure.  As 
the  reader  enters  the  perusal  of  this  introduction, 
he  must  not  think  for  a  moment  that  he  will  be 
a  skilful  Osteopath  when  he  has  finished  reading 
its  pages,  or  that  he  will  learn  anything  about 
the  inner  workings  of  Osteopathy.  I  am  not 
writing  for  that  purpose,  but  offer  this  as  an  his- 
torical wedge. 

To  be  qualified  for  a  profession  you  must  have 
a  complete  training  by  persons  who  understand 
the  science  thoroughly,  and  know  how  to  teach 
it.  Like  the  qualified  diplomats  of  any  trade 
or  profession,  an  Osteopath  is  not  made  in  a  day 
or  a  single  year.  Simply  standing  by  and  seeing 
work  done  by  a  competent  operator  will  not 
qualif}^  you  to  take  the  responsibilities  of  life  in 
your  hands.  You  must  be  thoroughly  acquainted 
with  all  that  is  meant  by  anatomy — not  merely 
familiar  with  the  names  of  a  few  bones,  muscles, 
nerves,  veins,  and  arteries,  but  you  must  know 
them  all  as  found  in  the  latest  standard  authors. 
You  should  be  familiar  with  at  least  ninety  per 
cent,  of  all  the  human  body  before  you  enter  our 
clinics.     There  you  are  taught  the  use  of  all  of 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  179 

the  parts  and  principles  you  have  recited  while 
in  the  tiresome  yet  entertaining  books  of  anat- 
omy, dissection,  and  physiology,  during  the  anx- 
ious months  of  the  schoolroom.  Now  you  are 
found  worthy  to  enter  the  training-rooms  as  an 
apprentice.  Once  in  the  operating-rooms,  you 
are  in  a  place  where  printed  books  are  known  no 
more  forever.  Your  own  native  ability,  with 
nature's  book,  are  all  that  command  respect  in 
this  field  of  labor.  Here  you  lay  aside  the  long 
words,  and  use  your  mind  in  deep  and  silent  ear- 
nestness; drink  deep  from  the  eternal  fountain 
of  reason,  penetrate  the  forests  of  that  law  whose 
beauties  are  life  and  death.  To  know  all  of  a 
bone  in  its  entirety  would  close  both  ends  of  an 
eternity. 

Solemnity  takes  possession  of  the  mind,  a  smile 
of  love  runs  over  the  face,  the  ebbs  and  tides  of 
the  great  ocean  of  reason,  whose  depths  have 
never  been  fathomed,  swell  to  your  surging  brain. 
You  eat  and  drink ;  and  as  you  stand  in  silent 
amazement,  suns  appear  where  you  never  saw 
a  star,  brilliant  with  the  rays  of  God's  wisdom, 
as  displayed  in  man,  and  the  laws  of  life,  eter- 
nal in  days,  and  as  true  as  the  mind  of  God 
Himself. 

Our  theologians  are   usually  much   better   to 


180  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

God  than  to  themselves.  The  trees  of  the  forest 
of  God  stand  loaded,  branches  bending  with  ripe 
fruit,  and  fat  squirrels  of  reason  in  all  their 
limbs,  and  the  tables  of  nature  all  set  for  the 
philosopher  or  fool  to  eat.  But  they  heed  not 
the  barking  of  the  dogs  that  look  up  the  trees 
and  bark  with  eyes,  ears,  mouth,  and  tail,  to  at- 
tract the  attention  of  their  masters.  If  a  man 
would  be  better  to  himself  and  get  more  anat- 
omy, he  would  enjoy  more  useful  knowledge, 
and  God  would  be  as  well  off  and  more  rever- 
enced. 

If  this  torments  you,  then  you  will  be  in  tor- 
ment, because  Osteopathy  has  come  to  stay 
without  limit  of  time.  It  has  spoken  to  me 
of  the  human  mind  as  it  found  it.  The  report 
reads: 

"  We  have  to  report,  most  excellent  master, 
that  we  have  found  very  much  dyspepsia  of  the 
head.  It  has  found  the  great  masses  in  a  very 
bad  condition ;  their  mental  stomachs  are  eaten 
full  of  holes;  livers  beaten  black  and  blue  with 
the  rawhides  of  habit,  the  most  astounding  igno- 
rance, and  the  unpardonable  stupidity  of  all  ages. 
Osteopathy  gave  a  trial  on  six  heads,  whose  di- 
gestion was  in  very  bad  condition.  After  a  few 
Osteopathic  treatments  all  appeared  to  do  well, 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  181 

until  we  turned  out  a  few  drops  of  reason  of 
one-thousandth  dilution.  We  carefully  noted 
the  effect.  One  was  a  bald-headed  M.D.,  and  in 
a  week  his  hair  was  three  inches  long  and  still 
growing.  When  we  gave  him  a  hand-glass  to 
look  at  himself,  he  went  into  convulsions.  After 
they  had  partially  subsided  he  began  to  talk  like 
a  maniac. 

"My  God!  my  God!  why  forsakest  Thou  me? 
Just  see  what  them  fellers  have  done  to  my 
head.  Got  my  hair  three  inches  long,  and  my 
wife  itching  to  pull  it  all  out  again.  Lord ! 
Lord  !  I  want  to  keep  as  far  away  from  Osteopathy 
as  I  can,  for  they  make  hair  grow,  and  I  will 
have  it  pulled.  And  they  stop  fevers  of  all  kinds, 
bowel  troubles,  deliver  babies,  cure  fits,  lungs, 
heart,  and  all  nervous  diseases  without  a  pain  or 
drug.  How  do  they  do  all  this  work  without 
drugs?"  asked  the  new-haired  M.D.  in  a  sup- 
pressed rage. 

And  we  gave  him  another  small  teaspoonful  of 
the  one  ten-thousandth  dilution  of  reason,  and 
waited  to  see  its  action.  In  five  minutes  he  was 
cold  all  over,  and  raising  his  hand  to  his  head, 
said: 

"  Write  my  will  quick,  I  cannot  stand  that  last 
teaspoonful!     My  poor  head  will  burst!" 


182  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

He  would  not  wait  for  his  wife  to  pull  out  his 
hair  as  in  the  past,  but  pulled  it  out  by  his  own 
hands,  drove  a  tack  in  the,  parietal  foramen,  and 
stopped  the  hair  again  forever.  He  is  well  now, 
and  has  no  more  sense  than  his  school  had  five 
hundred  years  ago. 

The  words,  "no  more  sense  than  his  school  had 
five  hundred  years  ago,"  ran  through  my  brain 
until  it  seemed  I  was  asleep  in  body,  and  action 
all  stopped  for  a  long  period.  I  began  to  think 
the  day  of  judgment  had  come.  Men  came  and 
formed  into  lines,  single  file  by  legions,  some  of 
this  and  all  other  centuries,  representing  a  period 
of  twenty  thousand  years.  All  had  come  to  be 
judged,  the  living  and  the  dead,  and  the  record- 
ing secretary  opened  his  great  book  of  many  cen- 
turies, and  said : 

"I  am  instructed  to  examine  this  host  of  men, 
who  have  been  the  champions  of  all  combats 
that  have  for  twenty  thousand  years  raged  be- 
tween disease  and  health.  Every  victory  of  both 
sides  must  be  recorded,  and  a  crown  will  be 
awarded  to  each  and  every  man  who  has  under 
his  arm  the  captured  flag  of  the  opposing  enemy." 

At  this  time  the  adjutant  called  aloud  that  an 
inspection  was  ordered,  and  all  arms  and  ammu- 
nitions would  be  inspected.     All  guns  that  shot 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  183 

backward  as  hard  as  forward  would  be  rejected, 
and  the  general  who  used  them  would  be  court- 
martialled,  and,  if  found  guilty,  would  have  his 
shoulder-straps  and  buttons  cut  off,  and  be  sent 
to  the  asylum  for  mental  repairs. 

At  this  time  a  great  burly,  red-faced  doctor 
stood  at  the  head  of  the  antediluvian  divi- 
sion and  was  called  first.  The  Judge  Advocate 
said: 

"State  if  you  know  how  you  treated  bilious 
fever  before  the  Flood?" 

"  Well,  Judge,  I  gave  copious  sweats,  dras- 
tic purgatives  of  jollipum,  aloes,  and  tooth- 
powders!'' 

"Stop,  sir,"  said  the  Judge.  "What  do  you 
mean  by  tooth-powders?" 

"Your  Honor,  I  mean  calomel,  which  loosens 
the  teeth  nicely.  We  gave  that,  sir,  so  they 
could  not  eat  for  a  few  days,  sir.  We  believed 
that  fever  was  caused  by  an  engorgement  of  the 
stomach,  so  we  gave  them  such  sore  mouths  that 
they  could  not  eat,  sir." 

"What  school  do  you  belong  to?"  asked  the 
Judge. 

"  The  Regulars,  sir!"  answered  the  doctor  with 
great  pride  and  emphasis;  and  the  Judge,  who 
could  restrain  himself  no  longer,  said : 


184  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

"Eegular  fools!  that  is  what  you  are.  Don't 
you  know  the  effects  of  mercury  are  to  destroy  the 
power  of  the  system  to  jDroduce  bone  and  teeth, 
and  with  both  diseased  you  can  never  have  a 
healthy  constitution?  In  short,  you  are  advocat- 
ing a  system  that  is  unnatural  and  destructive  to 
life,  and  the  world  would  be  better  off  without 
you." 

And  the  Judge  opened  the  doctor's  packages, 
jars,  and  bottles,  and  found  they  contained  the 
deadly  poisons  of  all  ages,  which  the  doctor  said 
had  an  honorable  place  among  the  Eegulars.  He 
asked  the  doctor  by  what  authority  he  gave  the 
most  deadly  poisons  as  a  remedy  for  disease. 
The  doctor  said : 

"Your  Honor,  tradition  is  the  day-star  of  our 
profession." 

The  Judge  smiled  and  said :  "  Bugler,  blow 
the  call  for  the  major-general  of  the  next 
century." 

At  the  call  a  very  fine  steed  and  coach  with 
baggage-wagon  and  servants  formed  into  line  for 
inspection.  The  general  of  drugs  gave  the  salute 
of  his  day  to  the  Judge,  and  said : 

"Most  excellent  Inspector,  according  to  your 
instruction,  I  am  proud  to  form  my  men  in  line 
for  your  inspection." 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  185 

The  Judge  then  turned  to  the  inspector. 
"Examine  his  arms  and  ammunition,  and  see  if 
he  has  made  any  improvement  on  the  preceding 
centuries  in  subduing  diseases." 

The  inspector  saluted  and  stepped  forward. 

"What  school  do  you  represent,  doctor?"  he 
asked. 

"Your  Honor,  the  'Regulars,'  the  sons  of 
legalized  tradition." 

"How  do  you  treat  bilious  fever?" 

"  Well,  sir,  we  give  emetics  and  purgatives." 

"  What  medicines  do  you  depend  on  in  the  first 
stage?" 

"After  puking,  we  use  our  tooth-powders." 

"  What  do  you  mean  by  tooth-powders?" 

"Your  Honor,  that  is  calomel." 

"What  is  the  cause  of  bilious  fever,  doctor." 

"  Well,  tradition  has  taught  us  it  is  the  en- 
gorgement of  the  stomach." 

"  Why  does  your  school  use  calomel?" 

"  Because  by  making  the  teeth  and  mouth  very 
sore,  the  patient  cannot  overload  the  stomach." 

"Adjutant,  compare  these  two  centuries,  and 
note  the  progress,  if  any,"  says  the  Judge.  Ad- 
jutant salutes,  and  reports  to  the  Judge : 

"  No  progress  whatever,  Judge ;  the  first  and 
second  centuries  are  just  the  same." 


186  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

By  this  time  the  Judge  grows  iudignant,  and 
tells  his  bugler  to  call  the  eighteenth  century. 

With  all  their  legalized  pomp  they  lined  up  for 
inspection,  and  the  Judge  said  in  a  short,  quick, 
and  commanding  voice:  "Doctor,  what  school  do 
you  represent?" 

"  Well,  Judge,  I  am  an  allopath  of  the  Regular 
school.  I  graduated  in  the  Eclectic,  Thompson- 
ian,  and  Homoeopathic  schools,  also  in  Orificial 
Surgery." 

"  What  is  the  cause  and  cure  of  bilious  fevers'?" 

"  Well,  by  tradition  we  are  educated  to  believe 
the  cause  of  bilious  fever  is  engorgement  of 
the  stomach.  However,  we  believe  the  vermi- 
form appendix  has  much  to  do  with  the  metas- 
tasis in  the  diathesis,  which  often  forms  fibroid 
tumors." 

"Stop  that  stuff!"  said  the  Judge,  "or  I  will 
have  you  put  on  bread  and  water  for  ninety  days 
for  contempt  at  court.  Who  wants  to  hear  that 
lingo  of  words?  I  want  you  to  tell  me  how  many 
victories  can  you  show  on  the  side  of  'Remedies 
versus  Disease. '  You  will  be  held  strictly  to  vic- 
tories; not  suppose-so 's  and  perhaps's,  but  such 
cases  as  you  have  known  and  cured  by  any 
method.  You.  may  give  ten  cases  drugged,  and 
ten  not  drugged;    all  about  the  same  age,  sex, 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  187 

and  all  having  the  same  kind  of  disease,  of  the 
same  seasons  of  the  year,  with  the  same  care. 
This  court  demands  truth  and  will  have  it.  The 
penalty  for  false  statement  is  twenty-one  years, 
buck-saw,  and  whip  each  seven  p.m.  that  you 
have  not  sawed  one  cord  of  wood  twice  in 
two." 

At  this  period  the  doctor  said :  "  Will  your 
Honor  please  give  me  until  the  May  term  of 
court  to  put  in  my  answer?" 

The  Judge  asked  the  M.D.  of  many  diplomas 
why  he  wanted  more  time,  and  the  doctor 
said : 

"Because  he  was  intending  to  take  a  full 
course  of  Osteopathy  at  Kirksville,  Mo.,"  and  the 
Judge  smiled  and  said  : 

"Go  on,  old  man,  but  I  will  be  more  rigid  on 
you  in  May  than  now." 

"  Why  so?"  asked  the  doctor. 

"  Because  Osteopathy  is  a  true  science  and  will 
solve  many  problems  of  which  an  M.D.  has  no 
conception." 

"Well,  Judge,"  said  the  doctor  in  a  very  plain- 
tive voice,  "won't  you  be  so  good  as  not  to  call 
me  in  May,  and  allow  me  to  be  tried  two  years 
hence?" 

"Yes,"  replied  the  Judge,  "but  you  had  better 


188  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

get  your  bucksaw,  for  if  you  fail  you  canDot 
bury  that  with  your  other  failures." 

The  Judge  dismissed  the  M.D.  for  two  years 
with  heavy  bonds  to  appear.  And  the  doctor 
was  so  thankful  he  got  into  his  fine  chariot" 
servants  and  all,  and  pulled  for  a  School  of  Os- 
teopathy. 

The  judge  ordered  the  adjutant  to  have  the 
bugler  call  three  Osteopaths  before  him.  At  the 
first  sound  of  the  bugle  three  were  present. 

The  Judge  said:    "Gents  and  lady,  be  sworn." 

First  doctor  was  called  to  the  stand. 

"Your  age?" 

"Thirty  years." 

"  What  school  are  you  from?" 

"The  American  School  of  Osteopathy." 

"What  is  the  cause  and  cure  of  bilious 
fever?" 

"  We  find  the  cause  of  bilious  fever  to  be,  that 
arterial  action  has  been  increased  by  heat  to  such 
velocity  that  veins  cannot  return  blood.  Con- 
tract veins,  and  stop  the  equality  of  exchange 
between  veins  and  arteries." 

"  What  is  fever,  doctor?" 

"  It  is  that  temperature  above  normal,  caused 
by  an  increased  action  of  electricity — the  heart 
being  the  engine,  and  the  brain  the  dynamo,  and 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL.  189 

the  nerves  the  dispensers  of  electricity.  The 
cure  for  all  fevers  is  natural.  Subdue  the  motor 
in  motion  and  the  sensory  in  sensation,  then 
hands  off  until  nature  makes  its  ample  rounds, 
and  construction  takes  the  place  of  destruction, 
and  health  is  the  result." 

I  awoke  at  this  period,  took  a  drink  of  water, 
a  breath  of  fresh  air,  and  all  things  were  natural 
again.  I  began  to  feel  cool,  and  that  is  all  I 
know  about  it  until  I  was  in  the  dreamy  state  a 
second  time,  and  I  heard  the  words: 

"Attention,  worlds!  Into  line,  ye  diplomats 
of  Osteopathy !  A  great  and  serious  battle  has 
been  raging  for  twenty  thousand  years  between 
disease  and  health,  fought  valiantly  with  all  im 
plements  they  could  bring  to  bear  upon  the  en- 
emy— sickness  and  death.  They  never  went 
into  an  engagement  and  came  out  victorious, 
but  universally  lost  their  men  and  all  their  flags. 
Their  crippled  and  badly  wounded  are  now  in  the 
ambulances  and  sent  to  the  rear,  and  you  are 
ordered  front,  and  into  line  immediately.  At- 
tack the  enemy  right,  left,  and  center.  His  im- 
plements of  war  are  Gatlings,  as  we  would  term 
them  now ;  all  loaded  with  flux,  fevers,  climatic, 
lung,  and  brain  diseases;  and  in  fact  about  ten 
thousand  kinds  of  compositions  are  in  their  car- 


190  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.    T.  STILL 

tridges  of  death."  To  the  commaDding  generals 
he  said : 

"Your  order  is  to  charge  all  batteries,  forts, 
gunboats,  magazines,  and  every  thing  and  meth- 
od that  this  undaunted  enemy  has  brought  to 
bear  upon  the  human  race  for  its  destruction. 
You  are  ordered  to  heed  not  fire,  water,  nor  the 
rumors  of  death,  but  to  charge  into  the  very 
center,  with  drawn  sabres,  fixed  baj^onets,  and 
rout  the  old  enemy  with  the  bright  steel  of 
reason,  forged  by  the  Infinite  Himself,  and  placed 
in  your  hands  for  the  defense  of  you  and  yours." 

The  bugle  sounded — the  charge  and  the  fight 
began.  It  raged  hot  and  heavy;  blood  was  spilt 
from  the  enemy  and  ran  like  rivers.  General 
after  general  made  his  charge  through  the  en- 
emy, hot  and  cold,  pained  or  painless;  and  dis- 
ease and  death  raged,  and  in  a  thunderous  voice 
cried : 

"  We  are  conquered,  and  will  be  conquered  by 
the  science  which  is  the  outgrowth  of  the  mind 
of  the  God  of  all  victories.  We  must  study  the 
tactics  of  Osteopathy  or  we  will  lose  from  now 
on  battle  after  battle,  for  this  new  enemy  uses  no 
antediluvian  tactics." 

And  I  saw  battle  after  battle,  and  the  enemy 
was  forced  to  the  wall,  yielded  his  flag,  and  said : 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  191 

"They  are  the  champions  of  natural  law,  and 
we  must  surrender.  They  have  said  babies  must 
live  to  die  when  worn  out  by  old  age,  and  they 
will  make  their  words  good,  as  we  have  no  am- 
munition by  which  to  meet  them."  And  I  awoke 
and  saw  the  diplomats  of  Osteopathy  coming 
home  with  the  scalps  of  Fits,  Measles,  Whooping- 
cough,  and  many  hundreds  of  other  scalps,  from 
all  parts  of  the  globe,  as  trophies  to  the  am- 
munition and  generalship  of  those  who  are  sat- 
isfied to  trust  the  divine  weapons  at  all  times 
and  in  all  engagements  between  sickness  and 
health. 

The  lectures  and  essays  of  which  this  is  the 
introduction  were  framed  many  thousand  years 
ago.  I  found  a  leaf  forty  years  ago  in  Kansas, 
and  tried  to  read  it,  but  could  not.  The  hand- 
writing was  very  plain  and  the  language  good, 
but  I  was  suffering  with  the  mumps  of  ignorance 
— fever  was  very  high,  and  throat  badly  swelled 
on  both  sides.  I  could  not  swallow  even  a  mor- 
sel from  the  great  table  that  set  in  the  center  of 
the  University  of  Deity,  covered  all  over  with 
fruits,  each  one  equal  to  the  finest  gem.  I 
could  not  enjoy  them,  for  I  was  unable  to  swal- 
low a  solution  of  this  greatest  dilution.  I  was 
not  trained  to  reason  beyond   the  ropes  of  stale 


192  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

custom^ — ^the  greatest  hindrance  of  all  ages.  But 
our  nation  made  a  move  to  cut  the  chains  from 
its  slaves,  which  gave  a  greater  range  to  thought 
and  speech.  Previous  to  that  time  it  was  not  a 
man's  privilege  to  write  and  speak  his  opinion 
upon  all  subjects  as  it  has  been  since  our  war 
closed.  Thirty  years  of  liberty  have  shown  its 
benefits  to  the  whole  world.  All  professions 
have  advanced  more  or  less.  Our  schools  have 
unfurled  their  flag  at  the  head  of  the  column  of 
progress.  Our  theologians  are  broader  and  more 
tolerant.  Inventive  genius  has  revolutionized 
our  industrial  and  commercial  systems.  Our 
navigation  of  the  seas  and  land  by  steam  and 
electricity  are  far  beyond  the  dream  of  a  Clay, 
Morse,  Fulton,  Howe,  or  even  Lincoln,  when  he 
laid  down  the  pen  that  wrote  the  words,  "For- 
ever free,  without  regard  to  race  or  color." 
Since  the  hour  freedom  was  proclaimed,  man  has 
moved  at  the  rate  of  the  swiftest  comets,  and  all 
nature  seems  more  in  harmony  with  his  advance- 
ment and  comfort. 

A  treatise  generally  aims  to  teach  the  reader 
the  rules  by  which  an  experienced  operator  can 
obtain  certain  results  in  the  skilful  application  of 
a  scientific  principle.  Osteopathy  cannot  be  im- 
parted by  books.     Neither  can  it  be  taught  to  a 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  193 

person  intelligently  who  does  not  fully  understand 
anatomy  from  books  and  dissection. 

One  who  does  not  know  this  preparatory  branch 
is  completely  lost  in  our  operating-rooms.  He 
does  not  act  from  reason,  because  he  does  not 
know  enough  of  anatomy  to  reason  from.  There- 
fore a  treatise  attempting  to  tell  people  how  to 
treat  diseases  by  our  methods  would  be  worse 
than  useless  to  every  person  who  has  not  been 
carefully  drilled  in  our  clinics.  It  is  the  philos- 
ophy of  Osteopathy  that  the  operator  needs ;  there- 
fore it  is  indispensable  that  you  know  all,  or  you 
will  fail  badly  and  get  no  further  than  the  quack- 
ery of  "hit  and  miss." 

We  have  a  college  for  teaching  and  training 
in  all  the  branches  of  Osteopathy. 

The  science  of  Osteopathy,  as  it  stands  before 
the  world  to-day,  is  twenty -one  years  old.  These 
lectures  will  have  much  to  say  of  its  eventful  life 
and  journey  to  the  place  it  now  stands — defiant, 
offensive,  and  defensive,  for  Osteopathy  has  had 
to  take  both  positions.  It  could  not  come  to  the 
place  due  it  and  offend  no  one.  Old  and  estab- 
lished theories  and  professions  claim  the  right  to 
say  who  shall  live  or  die,  and  have  claimed  this 
prerogative  so  long  that  they  feel  offended  at  the 

birth  of  any  new  child  of  progress  that  comes 
13 


194  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

upon  the  stage  to  ask  a  hearing  without  their 
permission.  Then  to  defend  would  be  insepar- 
able from  the  growth  of  science,  as  merit  is 
above  all  tribunals  except  God  Himself. 

Is  a  woman  bound  by  any  law  to  never  get  a 
new  dress  for  fear  of  offending  the  old?  If  the 
dress  has  to  wade  through  blood,  I  would  say, 
Have  it  come,  and  let  the  old  one  growl.  I  say 
let  the  new  one  come,  and  if  the  old  one  has  no 
merit  above  the  new,  just  let  it  be  quiet.  It  is 
not  always  that  the  old  chickens  are  best  to 
eat. 

Suppose  Mr.  Gatling  had  gone  to  General  Wash- 
ington and  asked  his  permission  to  go  to  the 
front  with  his  batteries,  and  had  received  for 
an  answer,  "No."  Then  suppose  Mr.  Gatling 
had  turned  loose  upon  the  General  and  his 
musty  council  and  wiped  the  earth  with  them, 
saying,  "If  brain  has  no  right  to  be  re- 
spected, what  do  you  think  of  bullets  by  the 
swarm?" 

We  are  not  enrolled  under  the  banner  of  a 
theologian.  We  are  traveling  over  the  plains 
and  mountains  as  an  explorer,  and  will  re- 
port only  the  truth,  and  never  that  until  we 
find  the  fact  standing  right  behind  the  truth 
as  its  indorser. 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  195 

As  an  explorer  we  are  now  ready  to  report  that 
much  of  richest  bottom-land  which  is  capable  of 
the  highest  cultivation  now  stands  open,  while 
vast  extended  plains  lie  spread  out  before  us, 
without  even  the  tent  of  the  squatter  sovereign 
to  be  seen. 

This  vast  country  has  not  yet  beeo  surveyed. 
No  corner-stones  are  set,  the  range-lines  have 
not  been  run,  and  there  is  no  land  office  opened ; 
but  upon  this  boundless  plain  we  raise  and  throw 
to  the  breezes  the  banner  of  Osteopathy. 

In  close  range,  and  directly  in  view  of  the 
most  ordinary  field-glass,  stands  the  mountain  of 
Reason,  from  which  is  rolling  down  in  our  pres- 
ence the  greatest  nuggets  of  gold  that  the  human 
mind  ever  saw  coming  down  as  from  the  very 
bosom  of  God  Himself.  All  this  fertility  we  be- 
lieve is  intended  for  the  human  race  and  benefit 
of  man.  With  the  power  of  production  found  in 
this  soil,  with  the  beauteous  scenery  and  the 
mountain  heights,  in  every  stone  you  will  find 
the  exactness  with  which  the  Divine  mind  con- 
structs. 

I  see  nations  climbing  up  and  falling,  and  ris- 
ing up  and  climbing  again,  to  attain  that  height 
which  would  enable  them  to  have  a  glimpse  or 
an  intimate  acquaintance  with  that  superstruct- 


196  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

ure  that  stands  upon  the  highest  pinnacle  which 
has  been  explored  to  a  limited  extent  only. 
That  superstructure  is  the  master-work  of  God 
Himself,  and  its  name  is  Man.  Ten  thousand 
rooms  of  this  temple  have  never  been  explored 
by  any  human  intelligence;  neither  can  it  be 
without  a  perfect  knowledge  of  anatomy  and  an 
acquaintance  of  the  machinery  of  life. 

Under  this  banner  we  have  enlisted.  Under  it 
we  expect  to  march,  and  go  into  a  fight  that  will 
cover  more  territory  than  was  covered  by  Alex- 
ander, Napoleon,  Grant,  Lee,  and  Bliicher;  and 
to  conquer  by  facts  a  greater  enemy  than  has 
been  heretofore  conquered  by  the  world's  great- 
est generals;  waging  a  contest  of  greater  mo- 
ment to  the  human  race  than  any  effort  ever  put 
forth  for  the  establishment  of  a  political,  relig- 
ious, or  scientific  principle. 

Not  like  children  do  we  expect  to  pay  attention 
to  the  howitzers  of  vulgarity  that  are  loaded  to 
the  very  muzzle  with  the  nightmare  of  habit, 
legalized  ignorance,  and  stupidity.  We  will  heed 
not  the  belching  forth  of  the  many  guns  trained 
on  our  flag,  unless  they  are  the  best  of  steel 
rifles,  Gatlings,  mortars,  ironclads,  or  torpedoes, 
all  loaded  or  charged  with  the  dynamite  of  un- 
compromising truth.     We  have   no  eternity  to 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  197 

spend  in  the  useless  effort  of  trying  to  bring  men 
to  the  fountain  of  reason,  and  force  them  to 
drink  that  which  is  absolutely  unpalatable  to 
them. 

While  a  man  is  bound  with  his  habits,  and  is 
satisfied  with  fishing  forever  without  getting  a 
nibble  of  truth,  he  can,  like  Bunyan,  bring  the 
four  corners  of  his  old  sheet  together,  take  up 
his  load,  and  toddle  along.  We  will  not  debate 
with  him  if  he  is  satisfied  he  is  not  the  man  we 
are  looking  for. 

A  word  to  the  soldiers.  This  war  has  been 
raging  hot  and  heavy  for  twenty-two  years,  and 
not  a  single  soldier  from  privates  to  generals  has 
received  a  wound  from  the  enemy  that  has  drawn 
one  drop  of  blood  or  sent  a  rigor  of  fear  up  or 
down  the  back  or  legs.  Their  ammunition  and 
greatest  guns  when  fired  in  our  midst  have  never 
moved  a  muscle  nor  made  a  widow.  We  laugh 
by  note,  which  is  our  music,  and  we  desire  Con- 
gress to  give  us  the  full  benefits  of  free  trade,  as 
we  have  more  scalps  for  sale  now  than  any  one 
market  is  able  to  purchase. 

Our  secretary  of  war  has  reported  to  us  that 
every  soldier's  wife,  and  the  soldier  himself,  has 
more  to  eat  and  drink  than  ever  before,  even  in 
the  physical  world,  saying  nothing  of  the  foun- 


198  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

tain  of  love  and  intelligence  that  keeps  his  can- 
teen forever  running  over. 

In  our  great  army  of  recruits  we  want  no  man 
or  woman  whose  mind  is  so  small  and  mental 
vision  so  dim  that  he  or  she  cannot  see  victory 
perched  on  our  banner.  Peace  and  good -will 
now  and  forevermore. 


CHAPTER   XIII. 

Something  about  Infallible  Signs — Appealing  to  My  Little 
Preacher — Anxiety  in  Waiting  for  an  Answer — The 
Charges  and  Specifications — Divine  Law  of  Finger  and 
Thumb. 

I  WORRIED  much  by  day  and  by  night.  I  saw 
visions  I  never  saw  before,  although  I  was  good 
at  seeing  visions  all  my  life.  I  believed  in  all 
the  signs.  I  believed  if  a  hen  should  crow, 
something  would  happen  ;  and  if  the  tail  feathers 
came  out  first  when  she  shed,  it  was  a  sure  sign 
that  you  must  sow  your  wheat  late ;  and  if  the 
feathers  came  off  her  head  first,  you  must  put 
your  wheat  in  very  early ;  and  I  beheved  it  was 
bad  luck  to  see  the  new  moon  over  the  left  shoul- 
der. Oh,  if  I  would  tell  you  all  about  the  signs 
I  know  of,  and  how  grandma  made  ma  wait  till 
the  sign  was  in  my  feet  before  she  would  wean 
me,  and  how  much  better  I  did  than  brother  Jim 
who  was  weaned  when  the  sign  was  in  the  head, 
you  would  be  amazed. 

Ma  wouldn't  believe  such  nonsense  about  signs, 
^nd  talked  mean  to  grandma.     She  said : 


200  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL. 

"I  don't  believe  any  such  foolishness,"  She 
weaned  brother  Jim  when  the  sign  was  in  the 
head,  and  he  has  been  bald  ever  since  he  was  old 
enough  to  be  bald.  After  my  ma  found  out  the 
good  of  signs,  she  weaned  all  the  rest  when  the 
sign  was  in  the  feet  and  heel-string.  She  ex- 
pected us  to  trot,  and  we  did  trot.  Granny  never 
thought  of  the  heel-string  until  ma  named  it,  I 
believe,  our  feet  are  larger  than  brother  Jim's; 
yes,  and  our  hair  is  longer,  too,  I  am  what  you 
can  call  a  true  blue,  believing  in  signs.  Wean 
them  in  the  feet  all  the  time,  even  if  they  are 
more  highly  flavored.  Knowing  that  I  was  a 
great  believer  in  signs,  I  went  to  my  little 
preacher,  and  picked  out  a  text  to  have  him 
preach  to.  It  was  something  like  this :  "  The 
Dutch  seek  a  sign,  the  Greasers  seek  wisdom, 
but  we  seek  all  truth  and  it  crucified,"  He 
asked  me  what  I  meant  by  such  talk.  I  told 
him  I  saw  in  1874  a  wee  bit  of  light.  It  seemed 
to  get  as  far  away  at  first  as  it  could,  then  blaze 
up  and  go  out.  Soon  it  began  to  get  closer,  and 
wink  and  blink  at  me,  then  get  as  big  as  a 
comet.  Sometimes  it  would  run  off,  and  come 
back  and  sneer  at  me  again,  "Kickapoo,"  At 
this  time  I  thought  I  would  bring  my  torture  to 
a  change  or  an  end.     I  said  to  my  little  preacher : 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  201 

"Now,  George,  what  do  you  think  of  the  sign 
I  told  you  about?"     He  answered: 

"  I  believe  it  is  the  evil  spirit  which  the  devil 
has  set  to  draw  you  into  his  rabbit  snare.  How- 
ever, I  will  lay  the  case  before  Brother  D.,  and 
see  you  again  to-morrow  morning,  and  see  what 
he  thinks  of  those  signs. 

The  weary  hours  of  the  night  dragged  along 
one  after  another,  slow  as  a  Democraiic  Congress 
ever  was  on  the  sixteen-to-one  question.  I 
thought  I  never  saw  one  sixty  minutes  sixteen 
hours  long  before.  The  ages  spent  in  each  hour  of 
that  night  ran  in  the  stupid  vistas  of  the  morning 
hours.  The  rooster  reached  his  neck  into  the 
dark  and  "cockadoodledooed."  It  seemed  an  age 
before  he  got  out "  doodledoo,"  and  five  more  hours 
before  I  could  see  George  and  hear  from  Brother 
D.  I  would  not  have  suffered  more  had  I  been 
on  an  iceberg  singing,  "On  Jordan's  stormy 
banks  I  stand,  and  cast  a  wistful  eye."  I  looked 
at  the  slow  creeping  of  the  pendulum  of  time, 
winding  out  one  more  hour  of  that  endless  anx- 
iety, and  prayed  to  hear  the  rooster  send  forth 
his  three-o'clock  moan,  a  duck  cackle,  a  hen 
quack,  a  sheep  bleat,  a  cow  low,  or  the  old  man 
pound  the  floor  with  his  boot  to  wake  up  Joe  or 
Nancy  Ann,  or, any  thing  to  break  up  those  hours 


302  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

whose  dying  axles  seemed  to  have  never  heen 
greased  for  a  thousand  ages.  Still  I  was  the 
prisoner  of  time.  At  last  a  stray  dog  came  to 
my  window.  He  was  a  hungry  tramp,  and  went 
to  the  back  door  to  get  a  hand -out,  but  it  was  a 
woful  time  for  him.  The  mother  of  seven  half- 
grown  pups  was  guarding  her  young,  and  flew 
at  him  with  great  fury,  and  towseled  his  bangs 
till  his  head  wasn't  fit  to  be  seen.  He  left,  and 
the  rooster  roared  out,  "  Whoop  him  up,  doodle- 
doo!"  I  laughed  myself  to  sleep  about  tramps 
and  hand-outs.  I  slept  like  an  alligator  watch- 
ing for  young  niggers  till  1  a.m.  I  then  awoke 
and  ate  a  few  bites.  My  little  preacher  came 
and  said  he  had  just  received  word  that  Brother 
D.  was  quite  sick.  "  However,  he  has  sent  his 
written  opinion  of  your  case,  which  is  very  ex- 
haustive. He  wishes  me  to  read  it  for  you." 
I  asked : 

"George,  what  are  those  numbers  in  brackets 
on  that  paper:  (Firstly),  (Secondly),  (Thirdly), 
(Fourthly),  (Fifthly),  (Sixthly),  (Seventhly), 
(Eighthly),  (Ninthly),  and  (Lastly)?"  and  he 
said  it  was  the  divisions  by  sections  of  Brother 
D.  's  opinion.     Then  we  read ; 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  203 

Baldwin,  July  7th,  1874. 

Dear  Brother  George  :  In  the  charges  against 
Brother  Still,  in  paragraph  number  one,  I  see  he 
is  charged  with  overbelief. 

Sec.  2. — We  believe  Brother  Still  is  very  sac- 
rilegious, which  is  the  worst  of  all.  Brother  T. 
F.  says  from  '55  till  '74  his  sack  had  plenty  of 
golden  X's,  but  it  is  now  empty.  He  has  only 
one  mule  left,  and  we  believe  him  quite  sacrile- 
gious. 

Sec.  3. — We  understand  he  keeps  up  his  dues 
on  a  thousand  dollars  in  the  Mutual  Alliance, 
and  that  will  bury  the  poor  fallen  man  six  feet 
below,  which  is  part  of  the  way  to  his  great  and 
red-hot  black  reward. 

Sec.  4. — We  will  all  pray  to  the  Lord  to  re- 
move him  to  his  deserved  reward,  and  pray  loud 
and  long.  We  will  say  publicly  to  all  that  he  is 
guilty  of  high  treason  with  his  overbelief.  Don't 
you  know  he  said,  and  stamped  his  foot  at  me 
with  skinned  eyes  and  stuck  his  defiant  finger  in 
my  face,  that  the  "  divine"  law  was  good  enough 
for  him?  Listen  here;  I  heard  that  he  said  he 
could  take  the  divine  law  between  his  thumb 
and  fingers  and  stop  flux,  fever,  diphtheria, 
mumps,  scarlet  fever,  or  any  disease  of  the  cli- 
mate or  globe.  Lord,  Lord,  wilt  Thou  please 
stop  him?  Hast  thou  not  made  opium,  calomel, 
quinine,  jallop,  gamboge,  blisters,  and  all  these 
medicines  for  man?     My,  my,  Lord,  Thou  know- 


204  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

est  our  very  best  paying  members  have  large 
drug-stores,  and  Still  will  mash  every  dollar  out 
of  them  if  he  is  allowed  to  run  wild  twenty-five 
years  longer.  Kentucky  might  as  well  be  sunk. 
All  her  hop  industry  will  be  dead  as  a  nit.  Why, 
Sister  Reyma  told  me  with  her  own  eyes  that  he 
took  a  garter  as  big  as  two  hens'  eggs  off  her 
neck  with  his  fingers,  jist  with  his  fingers,  and 
she  is  truthful,  and  that  stops  our  iodine-weed 
business  in  the  South  Sea  Islands,  and  kills  a  big 
revenue,  and  the  Government  ought  to  catch 
him,  for  I  believe  in  protection. 

He  says  he  can  rub  your  neck  and  twist  it 
south  by  southeast,  and  make  a  man  and  wom- 
an just  as  happy  as  if  they  had  wine  in  them. 
He  says  he  can  put  the  divine  wine  in  old  bottles 
and  make  them  new  and  jump  for  joy.  That  is 
bound  to  make  France  angry  at  us.  You  know 
France  has  always  been  very  friendly  to  America. 
See  what  Lafayette  did  in  our  struggle.  It  will 
not  do  for  one  man  to  be  let  loose  and  destroy 
one-half  of  our  industries,  brother.  You  know  if 
he  goes  on  as  he  has  started,  that  thousands  of 
millions  of  kegs  of  beer  with  billions  of  barrels  of 
the  very  oldest  and  best  of  good  Irish,  English, 
and  Scotch  whisky  will  be  rolled  into  the  sea, 
and  not  a  friend  to  mourn  its  loss.  If  he  gets 
that  divine  hook  in  the  people's  noses,  they  will 
be  in  the  same  fix  that  night-flies  were  when  the 
arc-lights  were  put  up,  all  a-buzz,  and  a-whiz; 
and  I  solemnly  fear,  brother  George,  that  the 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  205 

fish  will  become  inebriated,  and  get  into  a  war 
and  fight,  chew,  spear,  and  kill  so  many  of  the 
monsters  of  the  waters  that  their  finnied  dead 
will  poison  the  air  so  much  as  to  cause  disease  to 
cover  the  earth  and  kill  all  of  us.  You  know 
three-fourths  of  the  earth  is  water;  then  who  can 
he  cure  with  his  thumb  and  fingers  and  his 
boasted  divine  law?  He,  too,  will  die  by  the 
stench  of  all  the  dead  fish,  whale,  sea-cows,  seals, 
porpoises,  and  such,  and  he  has  made  all  that 
with  his  meddlesome  finger  and  thumb.  Away 
with  him !  my  pay  is  too  small  now. 

My  wife  has  to  keep  boarders,  and  what  will  it 
be  if  he  stops  so  many  of  our  industries?  Where 
will  our  living  come  from?  He  has  been  as  sour 
at  me  as  a  mad  wolf  ever  since  Katy  was  mar- 
ried. You  know  we  had  a  few  bottles  of  grape 
wine  on  that  occasion.  It  was  La  Barriers'  best 
wedding  wine,  which  is  rather  more  of  the  joy- 
ful than  the  young  and  aged  Americans  can 
stand.  He  insulted  my  wife  and  daughter  the 
day  after  our  wedding,  and  said,  "You  all  look 
like  you  had  been  on  a  big  drunk,"  and  he  said 
more  than  that  too.  "  You  had  a  glorious  time 
with  your  wines,  fiddle,  and  romping.  Nice 
folks,  you  are."  He  made  my  wife  and  daughter 
Betty  sick.  They  were  just  so  sick  at  his  mean 
talk  that  they  both  threw  up ;  then  he  said : 
"Wine  buzzards,  ha!"  I  didn't  like  that,  and 
told  him  so. 

I  demanded  an  apology  of  Still,  and  asked  him 


206  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

why  he  sneered  at  our  wedding.  He  grinned  at 
me,  and  said : 

"  I  believe  in  signs.  Elder,  I  believe  the  color 
of  your  wife  and  daughter's  faces  was  a  sign  of 
something";  and  he  looked  at  me  kind  o'  funny, 
and  said : 

"Elder,  what  draws  your  shoulders  so  high  up? 
Have  you  any  stomach  trouble?" 

Well,  I  told  him  I  had  what  the  doctor  called 
"flatulency." 

He  said :  "  Elder,  how  long  have  you  had 
that  trouble?" 

I  said:  "Excuse  me  for  the  present."  He 
has  more  cheek  than  a  hound,  so  he  has.  I 
did  have  right  smart  of  pain  in  my  stomach 
and  bowels,  but  I  wasn't  going  to  own  it  to 
him,  and  get  fumbled  with  his  fingers  and 
thumb  right  there,  for  I  might  just  as  well  ac- 
knowledge it  in  the  first  place  as  to  let  him 
fumble  me.  You  know,  brother  George,  an- 
ciently much  wine  was  used  at  weddings,  and 
Christ  made  lots  of  it  at  once,  and  Paul  took 
some  for  his  flatulency  also.  Now,  brother 
George,  I  think  he  is  too  hard  on  us.  He  made 
me  as  mad  as  a  skillet  of  popcorn.  When  my 
wife  and  little  Betty  came  home  they  said  he 
was  on  a  box  talking  awful  big  about  this  and 
that  sign.  Well,  pa,  he  just  sniggered  and  said : 
"There  goes  another  sign."  He  was  making 
fun  of  ma's  teeth,  and  said  if  a  woman  as  young 
as  ma  is  had  store  teeth  that  it  was  a  sign  she 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  207 

had  been  sick  and  the  doctor  who  treated  her  had 
more  calomel  than  sense.  Then  he  began  about 
his  divine  law  and  signs  till  I  just  got  sick  of  the 
stuff.  Now,  brother  George,  I  write  a  line  to 
you  personally,  and  ask  you  to  keep  it  out  of  my 
special  opinion  in  this  case,  as  circumstances  have 
more  to  do  in  this  case  than  facts.  He  may  be 
right  about  his  divine  law,  but  we  must  use  a 
saving  amount  of  policy  as  we  go  along.  You 
know  if  we  can  keep  him  on  the  unpopular  side, 
it  will  be  best,  as  our  meat  and  bread  have  a 
casting  vote  at  this  day  and  time;  therefore  let 
bad  continue  that  good  may  come. 

Sec.  5.  Now,  brother  George,  I  think  I  have 
a  clue,  which  will  help  us  very  much  in  handling 
this  fallen  angel,  and  that  is  this :  He  is  a  Meth- 
odist preacher's  son,  and  some  of  them  are 
mighty  bad  boys,  and  I  want  to  post  you  on  his 
methods,  then  you  can  combat  him  more  success- 
fully. First,  he  hates  and  fears  alcohol  worse 
than  all  the  devils  and  hell  combined.  He  is  no 
policy  man :  will  say  just  what  he  thinks  or  die 
in  the  attempt.  He  hates  a  hypocrite,  a  liar,  a 
thief,  a  drone,  a  two-faced  man  or  woman,  and 
a  lazy  man.  He  pays  all  his  debts  and  is  good 
to  the  poor,  makes  money  easily,  is  possibly  the 
best  anatomist  now  living.  He  knows  what  he 
says  and  says  what  he  knows  only.  Now,  you 
know  his  weak  point  and  will  have  to  meet  him 
in  open  fields.  The  enriching  of  his  mind  is  the 
blunders  of  fools.     Well,  brother  George,  that  we 


208  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

may  more  successfully  combat  the  doctor  (if 
combats  be  necessary),  I  think  it  good  advice  to 
get  his  written  opinion  on  a  few  very  impor- 
tant questions  which  are  arranged,  and  I  think 
he  will  kindly  answer  them.  I  am  told  he 
is  very  outspoken.  Please  ask  him  what  he 
thinks  of  our  churches,  and  carefully  note  his 
answer. 

Doctor  says:  "  Well,  George,  I  have  no  use  for 
the  churches  of  the  world  if  I  take  them  as  a 
whole.  I  think  there  is  good  and  bad  in  all  of 
them.  I  see  rivers  of  blood  running  from  the 
most  of  them,  and  more  coming.  I  look  on  them 
as  clandestine  in  effect,  and  fallen  far  short  of 
the  great  need  of  the  world.  To  be  a  Methodist 
means  to  hate  a  Campbellite,  and  to  be  a  Camp- 
bellite  is  to  hate  the  Baptist,  and  so  on ;  and  all 
will  unite  as  one  to  fight  the  Eoman  Catholic. 
I  believe  the  principle  given  to  man  is  high  above 
all  churches,  and  it  is  love  to  all  mankind,  with 
all  the  soul,  body,  and  mind  as  the  law  and  gift 
of  God  to  man.  It  is  bloodless  rivers  of  love 
given  for  man  to  drink  in  all  time  and  eternity. 
My  confidence  is  fully  builded  and  will  ever  stand 
upon  the  goodness  and  love  of  God  outside  of  all 
church  organizations." 

"  What  does  Still  think  of  the  personal -God 
idea?" 

"Well,  I  have  asked  him  all  about  that." 

"What  did  he  say?" 

"  He  said  there  would  be  less  fools  born,  and 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  209 

fewer  made  after  birth,  if  people  would  let  well 
enough  alone,  and  said : 

"  'I  believe  no  man  ever  saw  God,  and  the 
greatest  man  now  living  or  in  the  past  has  no 
mind  or  method  by  which  he  can  grasp  enough 
to  take  him  beyond  the  field  of  amazement, 
wonder,  and  admiration. '  And  said  when  he  was 
through  the  study  of  anatomy  of  man,  and  the 
laws  that  govern  animal  life,  he  would  try  a  few 
thousand  years  in  the  juvenile  class  of  the  school 
of  the  infinite.  At  present  he  was  willing  to 
leave  that  with  the  knowing  ones." 

Well,  brother  George,  I  have  to  still  ask  you 
to  listen  to  me,  and  not  make  this  part  public :  I 
do  not  know  just  what  to  do  or  say.  Now,  this 
is  on  the  square,  and  I  hope  you  will  receive  it  as 
such.  I  will  tell  you.  I  disguised  myself  and 
went  to  headquarters  to  investigate  the  so-called 
science  of  Osteopathy.  I  was  met  at  the  door  by 
the  sexton,  and  on  asking  for  the  discoverer  of 
that  wonderful  science  he  conducted  me  to  the 
secretary's  office,  where  he  said  I  would  receive 
all  the  necessary  information.  While  interview- 
ing the  secretary,  a  lady  came  in  to  make  ar- 
rangements for  a  month's  treatment.  She  had 
been  there  two  weeks,  and  had  been  very  much 
benefited.  She  was  suffering  with  asthma,  heart 
trouble,  constipation,  epilepsy,  and  cramp  in 
both  feet.  While  reaching  for  her  ticket,  I  rec- 
ognized in  her  my  wife  by  the  ring  on  her  finger. 

My  heart  throbbed.     I  felt  a  choking  sensation 
14 


210  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

in  my  throat,  and  fell  to  the  floor  unconscious. 
I  was  taken  to  one  of  the  treatment  rooms,  and 
there  brought  back  to  consciousness  by  his  divine 
law,  thumb  and  fingers.  We  threw  aside  our 
masks  and  were  conducted  to  his  private  room. 

The  very  first  thing  the  old  doctor  said  when 
we  entered  was :  "  Hello,  elder.  I  told  my  wife 
some  strangers  were  coming  who  wanted  dinner, 
because  the  rooster  stood  right  plump  in  the  door 
and  crowed  twice,  then  turned  around  and  went 
to  eating,  and  I  told  her  that  was  a  sign  some 
persons  were  coming  for  dinner,  and  granny  said 
that  sign  never  failed  if  the  rooster  went  to  eat- 
ing as  soon  as  he  crowed.  You  see  he  crowed 
twice,  which  meant  sister  and  you.  Our  dog 
made  me  almost  cry,  he  howled  so  pitiful  twice 
last  night.  I  told  my  wife  that  was  a  sign  that 
never  fails.  We  would  soon  get  news  that  some 
of  our  friends  were  dead  because  the  dog  howled 
two  times.  Well,  elder,  how  is  everything 
around  Baldwin?" 

"All  well, "he  said. 

"  How  is  old  friend  H.  ?" 

"Why,  he  is  dead." 

"How's  friend  C?" 

"He  is  dead  also." 

"Now,  I  will  tell  ma  not  to  make  fun  any 
more  when  our  dog  howls.  He  howled  twice  so 
pitiful,  and  the  elder  tells  me  friends  H.  and  C. 
are  both  dead,  and  granny  says  them  signs  never 
fail." 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.    T.  STILL.  211 

Sec.  8.  Well,  brother  George,  in  charge  uum- 
her  8,  "Too  much  Divine,"  his  disciples  have 
rolled  and  pulled  me  and  my  wife,  I  declare,  till 
I  don't  know  what  to  do.  I  felt  so  well  after 
they  treated  me  that  I  just  took  a  half -month's 
treatment.     Had  you  missed  my  wig? 

"No,  you've  had  j'our  hat  on  ever  since  you 
came  back." 

Well,  brother  George,  I  left  it  as  security 
with  the  secretary  for  my  treatment.  I  believe 
an  open  confession  is  good  for  the  soul. 


CHAPTER   XIV. 

The  Great  Vision — A  Wonderful  Procession — An  Assembly  to 
Benefit  the  Human  Race — War — Defeat — Surrender — The 
Doctors  in  Council — Forceps  and  Laceration — The  Spy  on 
Osteopathy — A  Disturbed  Artery  and  the  Result — Nature's 
System  of  Midwifery — Osteopatliy  Defined — Whips  of  Qui- 
nine to  Drive  Out  Fever — Tlie  Corpus  Callosum — Cor- 
puscles— The  Equipments  as  Fremont's  Surgeon — How 
God  Manifests  Himself. 

From  early  youth  I  have  been  visited  by  the 
visions  of  the  night,  one  of  which  I  will  proceed 
to  describe  as  best  I  can.  My  descriptive  powers 
may  be  too  short,  my  ability  to  explain  by 
words  too  limited  to  communicate  to  your  under- 
standing graphically  what  I  have  seen  night 
after  night.  It  is  the  most  attractive  vision  that 
has  disturbed  my  dreams  from  birth  till  now. 
The  house  in  which  this  panorama  seemed  to 
dwell  is  as  wide  as  thought,  as  long  as  all  the 
ages  of  the  past.  Its  seats  in  numbers  were  as 
the  sands  of  the  sea.  Its  roads  were  paved  to 
the  uttermost  parts  of  the  earth,  all  centering  to 
the  one  place.  I  seemed  to  be  only  a  silent  spec- 
tator. I  saw  legions  of  the  finest  carriages, 
coaches,  cabs,  bicycles,  horsemen,  footmen,  and 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL.  213 

rolling-chairs  with  their  waiters.  And  all  those 
vehicles  or  methods  of  travel  were  loaded  to  ful- 
ness with  men  of  all  ages  of  the  remembered 
and  great  forgotten  past.  With  glistening  knives 
of  all  forms,  tweezers,  tenaculums,  blow-pipes, 
and  microscopes  of  the  greatest  known  powers, 
they  all  alighted  from  their  different  modes  of 
travel.  They  rested,  feasted,  and  slept  through 
the  refreshing  hours  of  the  night,  awoke  early 
the  following  morning,  ate  their  breakfasts,  took 
their  morning  exercise,  and  at  the  sound  of  the 
bugle  they  all  assembled  together. 

The  chairman,  a  very  dignified,  elderly  gentle- 
man, arose  and  stated  the  object  of  the  meeting. 

"  We  have  tried  to  formulate  a  scientific  method 
that  should  live  with  coming  ages,  by  which  we 
could  successfully  antagonize  the  diseases  of  the 
earth  which  prey  upon  and  destroy  too  great  a 
per  cent,  of  the  human  race  prematurely.  And  I 
have  to  say  from  a  conclusion,  based  upon  sworn 
statements  of  all  ages  of  all  medical  schools, 
that  their  foundation  is  wholly  unscientific  and 
unsatisfactory  from  the  conclusions  based  upon 
the  results,  as  found  in  all  engagements  between 
disease  and  health. 

"All  victories  belong  to  that  champion  who 
has  no  knowledge  of  defeat,  whose  name  is  the 


214  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

Czar  of  death.  We  have  brought  into  requisition 
brigades,  divisions,  and  nations,  and  met  the 
enemy  in  open  fields,  only  to  lose  our  flags  and 
moiirn  over  the  loss  of  our  beloved  dead."  A 
new  idea  came  over  the  congregated  legions  that 
the  victories  lost  should  be  attributed  to  the 
abortive  use  of  drugs  as  prescribed  and  used  by 
all  schools.  A  resolve  passed  over  the  whole 
congregation  that  we  meet  the  enemy  with  "the 
knives  of  standard  surgery,"  The  battle  raged 
and  the  wailing  over  the  dead  increased.  Lam- 
entations seemed  to  prevail  and  hearts  sunk. 
An  armistice  was  called.  Another  general  arose 
with  the  appearance  of  greatness,  armed  himself 
to  the  fulness  of  all  he  could  desire  with  instru- 
ments made  for  the  purpose,  and  said :  "  I  believe 
I  can  meet  and  conquer  disease." 

And  the  chairman  rapped  his  gavel  aloud  and 
said: 

"  We  must  have  truth,  and  demand  that  truth 
itself  must  have  facts  for  its  voucher,  or  it  can 
have  no  place  in  the  finale  of  the  reports  of  this 
assembly,  who  have  the  tactics  of  all  generals  of 
renown.  We  are  sore  and  tired  of  the  words 
war,  defeat,  surrender,  and  lamentations!  The 
record  to  this  date  has  found  no  victory  to  chron- 
icle for  drugs,  and  a  very  limited  supply  for  sur- 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  215 

gery,  and  much  of  that  was  done  more  for  re- 
muneration than  vindication  of  known  truths. 
If  this  body  of  thinkers  wishes  to  be  kind  and  hb- 
eral  to  all,  with  but  little  hope  of  abating  the 
relentless  hand  of  disease,  the  chair  will  say.  Pro- 
ceed, doctor,  and  give  us  the  facts  you  now  think 
you  possess.  Remember,  no  more  experimenting 
at  the  probable  cost  of  life  will  be  received  by 
this  committee  of  the  world.  They  say  in  the 
rules  adopted  to  govern  this  meeting  that  all 
theories  must  and  shall  be  proven  to  be  true  or 
false  by  the  propounder  being  forced  to  submit 
to  and  be  treated  by  the  tenets  of  his  system, 
which  ho  has,  and  claims  to  be  truth,  before  he 
can  be  placed  on  the  special  roll  of  this  council. 
And  I  give  you  all  notice  that  this  council  never 
will  adjourn  until  a  system  of  cures  be  adopted, 
that  stand  based  on  the  law  that  is  without  be- 
ginning and  eternally  the  same. 

"All  speakers  who  represent  any  brotherhood 
of  cures  will  be  patiently  listened  to  by  this  meet- 
ing. Giving  them  all  the  time  that  is  necessary 
to  give  history,  by  notes  and  observations  as  to 
diseased  persons  they  have  met,  and  known  to  be 
cured,  killed,  or  permanently  injured  by  their 
methods.  All  doctors  will  be  sworn  before  ex- 
amination.    Penalty  for  perjury  is  one  drop  of 


216  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL. 

"red  capsicum"  in  one  eye  at  a  time,  for  every 
lie  he  tells  about  the  wonderful  cure  he  falsely 
reports,  or  the  deaths  he  has  caused  by  his  knife 
or  drugs. 

"Proceed,  doctor,  you  have  the  floor.  Now 
we  want  the  good  and  bad  of  systems  and  their 
truths.  We  want  and  will  have  it,  or  pepper 
your  eyes  till  you  find  and  tell  the  whole  truth. 
Tell  how  your  remedies  affect  the  body,  bones, 
teeth,  and  minds,  or  we  will  pepper  your  eyes  to 
stimulate  your  brain.  We  are  told  by  one  of  a 
later  date  who  champions  the  system  of  'Ori- 
ficial  Surgery'  that  the  brain  can  be  acted  upon 
by  stimulating  the  nerve  terminals,  and  his  the- 
ory must  be  vindicated  or  fall,  after  being 
fully  tested,  as  given  by  rule  first  of  the  by- 
laws of  this  assembly,  which  puts  all  assertions  to 
the  most  crucial  tests,  known  as  the  fruit-of-the- 
tree  test." 

The  judge  said :  "  This  meeting  will  now  ad- 
journ for  rest  and  refreshments.  Before  you 
leave  I  will  say  I  want  to  have  the  committee  on 
allopathy  to  rest  four  days,  and  on  the  fifth  as- 
semble. Each  man  must  arm  himself  with  a 
fine  mental  sieve  that  nothing  can  penetrate  but 
known  facts.  I  am  sworn  by  the  people  who 
sent  me  to  this  council  of  inquiry  to  bring,  on 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  217 

my  return,  truths,  and  not  assertions,  and  know 
by  careful  analysis  that  the  truth  as  rendered  to 
them  on  our  return  be  chemically  pure,  and  in 
exact  conformity  to  the  known  laws  of  nature, 
which  can  only  come  from  the  mind  of  the  in- 
finite. Nothing  less  will  be  received.  On  our 
report  depends  the  length  of  our  days,  for  we  are 
dealing  with  a  jealous  and  enraged  people.  We 
must  be  able  to  report  to  them  in  such  manner 
that  there  will  be  no  doubt  left  in  their  minds  as 
to  the  methods  of  relief.  I  have  just  read  a  let- 
ter from  our  home  committee,  stating  eighty 
births  in  Chicago,  in  which  the  forceps  were 
used  in  all,  and  lacerations  occurred  in  forty- 
three  from  one  to  more  inches,  all  of  which  will 
have  to  go  under  chloroform  for  surgical  opera- 
tions. No  one  knows  who  or  how  many  will  die 
from  the  knife  and  poisonous  gas. 

"I  tell  you  the  cup  of  forbearance  is  about 
drained,  and  a  furious  explosion  is  bound  to 
come,  but  this  council  can  do  much  to  ward  it 
off.      We  must  wake  up  and  act  or  suffer. 

"A  report  from  our  home  secretary  says  he 
writes  for  information  about  a  new  theory,  called 
'Osteopathy,'  which  has  delivered  near  five  hun- 
dred mothers  without  a  single  laceration,  forceps, 
or  a  drug.     And  not  a  death,  no  case  of  labor 


218  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

lasting  more  than  four  hours.  I  tell  you,  men 
and  brethren,  I  have  had  a  spy  in  camp  and  on 
the  track  of  Osteopathy  for  five  years.  It  is  most 
wonderfully  true,  and  its  successes  are  now 
known  more  or  less  all  over  the  reading  world ; 
and  that  fact  known,  augments  the  danger  we 
are  in. 

"At  this  time  it  has  been  legalized  in  many 
States,  and  is  a  formidable  and  dangerous  sys- 
tem to  meet  with  the  weapons  of  tradition. 

"You  and  I  know  we  cannot  face  the  truths  as 
we  are  now  armed,  and  must  change,  or  fall  or 
hang  by  the  neck  until  we  are  dead  and  buried 
by  the  side  of  our  condemned  system  that  kills 
more  than  it  cures." 

In  the  year  18T4  I  proclaimed  that  a  disturbed 
artery  marked  the  beginning  to  an  hour  and  a 
minute  when  disease  began  to  sow  its  seeds  of 
destruction  in  the  human  body.  That  in  no  case 
could  it  be  done  without  a  broken  or  suspended 
current  of  arterial  blood,  which  by  nature  was 
intended  to  supply  and  nourish  all  nerves,  liga- 
ments, muscles,  skin,  bones,  and  the  artery  itself. 
He  who  wished  to  successfully  solve  the  problem 
of  disease  or  deformities  of  any  kinds  in  all  cases 
without  exception  would  find  one  or  more  ob- 
struction in  some  artery,  or  some  of  its  branches. 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  219 

At  an  early  day  this  philosophy  solved  to  me  the 
problem  of  maligDant  growths  and  their  removal 
by  reproduction  of  the  normal  flow  of  the  arterial 
fluids,  which  when  done  transfers  the  blood  to 
the  venous  circulation  for  return  and  renewal 
after  the  process  of  renovation  is  completed  by  the 
lungs,  excretories,  and  porous  system.  Fevers, 
flux,  headaches,  heart  and  lung  troubles,  meas- 
les, mumps,  and  whooping-cough,  and  all  dis- 
eases met  and  treated  since  that  time,  have 
proven  to  my  mind  that  there  is  no  exception  to 
this  law.  The  rule  of  the  artery  must  be  abso- 
lute, universal,  and  unobstructed,  or  disease  will 
be  the  result.  I  proclaimed  then  and  there  that 
all  nerves  depended  wholly  on  the  arterial  system 
for  their  qualities,  such  as  sensation,  nutrition, 
and  motion,  even  though  by  the  law  of  reciproc- 
ity they  furnished  force,  nutrition,  and  sensation 
to  the  artery  itself,  and  further  proclaimed  that 
the  brain  of  man  was  God's  drug-store  and  had 
in  it  all  liquids,  drugs,  lubricating  oils,  opiates, 
acids,  and  anti-acids,  and  every  quality  of  drugs 
that  the  wisdom  of  God  thought  necessary  for 
human  happiness  and  health. 

On  this  foundation  and  by  its  teachings  I  have 
unfolded  nature's  system  of  midwifery,  which 
would  blush  and  be  ashamed  of  its  ignorance  for 


220  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

a  diplomat  of  this  science  to  ever  be  guilty  of 
acknowledging  so  much  stupidity  and  ignorance 
of  the  laws  of  parturition  as  to  take  into  the  sick 
chamber  of  a  normally  formed  woman  the  brutal 
forceps  of  death  to  the  child,  torture  and  lacera- 
tion to  the  mother.  When  I  see  all  over  the  land 
those  pitiable  objects  called  mothers  ruined  for 
life,  I  often  wonder  if  that  man  who  has  inflicted 
such  torture  and  left  her  in  a  condition  to  go 
under  the  surgeon's  knife  and  deadly  "  ether" — a 
far  more  dangerous  operation  with  but  little  hope 
of  benefit — has  the  heart  of  a  brute  or  the  intelli- 
gence of  a  human. 

Such  are  the  teachings  of  the  prevailing  sys- 
tems of  midwifery  all  over  the  civilized  world. 
Osteopathy  says  if  this  be  civilization  and  skill, 
what  would  be  brutality  and  ignorance?  I  smile 
when  a  young  Osteopath  says:  "I  have  taken  up 
Osteopathy  at  the  point  that  I  found  it  had 
stopped  in  the  'old  doctor's  hands,'  and  have 
made  many  new  discoveries."  I  am  proud  to 
know  that  the  Eip  Van  Winkle  in  him  had  got- 
ten his  sleep  out,  and  found  that  his  old  gun  had 
been  by  his  side  for  twenty  years.  He  did  not 
learn  in  school  what  was  for  him,  which  he  could 
have  learned  had  he  not  gone  off  in  search  of  the 
shining  dollar,  before  he  had  absorbed  the  juice 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  221 

of  reason  that  always  comes  after  twelve  months' 
close  drill  in  the  philosophy  of  the  arteries.  No 
discovery  is  newer  than  twenty-four  years  of  this 
science,  as  shown  by  any  one  to  date.  Its  appli- 
cations may  be  more  thoroughly  understood,  but 
the  philosophy  is  eternally  the  name. 

It  matters  little  at  what  point  I  commence,  for 
the  subject  of  life  has  no  beginning  and  is  equally 
interesting  at  all  points.  The  reader  is  anxious 
to  learn  something  of  this  science  which  bears  a 
new  and  unfamiliar  name.  He  wishes  to  know 
if  its  discoverer  is  possessed  of  intelligence  and  if 
the  science  itself  has  merit. 

You  wonder  what  Osteopathy  is;   you  look  in 
the  medical  dictionary  and  find  as  its  definition 
"bone  disease." 

That  is  a  grave  mistake.  It  is  compounded  of 
two  words,  osteon,  meaning  bone,  pathos, 
pathine,  to  suffer.  Greek  lexicographers  say  it 
is  a  proper  name  for  a  science  founded  on  a 
knowledge  of  bones.  So  instead  of  "bone  dis- 
ease" it  really  means  "usage." 

The  human  body  is  a  machine  run  by  the  un- 
seen force  called  life,  and  that  it  may  be  run  har- 
moniously it  is  necessary  that  there  be  liberty  of 
blood,  nerves,  and  arteries  from  the  generating- 
point  to  destination. 


222  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

Suppose  in  far-distant  California  there  is  a  col- 
ony of  people  depending  upon  your  coming  in 
person  with  a  load  of  produce  to  keep  them  from 
starving.  You  load  your  car  with  everything 
necessary  to  sustain  life  and  start  off  in  the  right 
direction.  So  far  so  good.  But  in  case  you  are 
side-tracked  somewhere,  and  so  long  in  reaching 
the  desired  point,  your  stock  of  provisions  is 
spoiled ;  if  complete  starvation  is  not  the  result, 
at  least  your  friends  will  be  but  poorly  nourished. 

So  if  the  supply  channels  of  the  body  be  ob- 
structed, and  the  life-giving  currents  do  not 
reach  their  destination  full  freighted,  then  dis- 
ease sets  in. 

What  does  a  doctor  do  in  such  a  case?  As  a 
darkey  would  force  a  disabled  mule  to  carry  him 
by  applying  the  whip,  so  a  doctor  of  medicine 
attempts  to  use  the  whips  of  quinine  and  other 
stimulants  to  drive  the  blood  through  the  body. 
By  too  severe  an  application  of  the  morphine 
whip  sometimes  life  is  driven  into  death. 

Under  like  circumstances  an  Osteopath  would 
remove  the  obstruction  by  application  of  the  un- 
erring laws  of  his  science,  and  ability  for  doing 
the  necessary  work  would  follow.  As  a  horse 
needs  strength  instead  of  the  spur  to  enable  him 
to  carry  a  heavy  load,  so  a  man  needs  the  free- 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  223 

dom  of  all  parts  of  the  machinery  power  that 
comes  from  the  perfection  of  his  body  in  order  to 
accomplish  the  highest  work  of  which  it  is  ca- 
pable. After  the  heart  receives  the  blood,  it  sends 
it  on  to  the  brain,  possibly  to  take  on  knowledge. 

When  you  look  at  a  skull  you  think,  "  What  a 
large  cavity;  what  a  quantity  of  brains  I  have!" 
They  say  Webster  had  "almost  a  half-bushel." 

Of  the  contents  of  the  skull,  one  ounce  is  used 
for  thought,  the  remainder  generates  power  for 
nerves. 

God  would  not  be  forgetful  enough  to  send  the 
blood  to  the  brain  for  wisdom  and  fail  to  have  a 
supply  there.  His  intelligence  is  immeasurable, 
and  there  is  much  evidence  that  mind  is  imparted 
to  the  corpuscles  of  the  blood  before  it  does  its 
work. 

Every  corpuscle  goes  like  a  man  in  the  army, 
with  full  instructions  where  to  go,  and  with  un- 
erring precision  it  does  its  work — whether  it  be  in 
the  formation  of  a  hair  or  the  throwing  of  a  spot 
of  delicate  tinting  at  certain  distances  on  a  pea- 
cock's back. 

God  does  not  find  it  necessary  to  make  one  of 
these  spots  of  beauty  at  a  time;  He  simply  en- 
dows the  corpuscles  with  mind,  and  in  obedience 
to  His  law  each  one  of  these  soldiers  of  life  goes 


224  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

like  a  man  in  the  army,  with  full  instructions  as 
to  the  duty  he  is  to  perform.  It  travels  its  beaten 
line  without  interfering  with  the  work  of  others. 
Now  you  say  I  am  going  to  get  God  into  trouble 
by  making  a  statement,  claiming  that  each  one 
of  the  five  million  corpuscles  contained  in  a  sin- 
gle drop  of  blood  knows  just  what  is  expected  of 
it.  Is  this  blasphemy?  No.  As  the  troops  of 
General  Cook  obey  his  commands  unfalteringly, 
so  God's  infantry,  imbued  by  Him  with  mentality, 
go  forth  to  fulfil  their  appointed  mission  in  un- 
swerving obedience. 

You  dare  not  assert  that  the  Deity  is  inferior 
in  power  to  a  man  of  His  own  creation. 

While  speaking  of  the  army,  let  me  say  that  I 
served  as  a  surgeon  under  Fremont,  and  I  know 
what  I  am  talking  about  when  I  say  that  a  sur- 
geon's outfit  was  complete  when  it  contained  cal- 
omel, quinine,  whisky,  opium,  rags,  and  knife. 
If  a  patient  had  one  foot  in  the  grave  and  a  half- 
pint  of  whisky  in  a  bottle,  the  doctor  would 
work  as  hard  to  get  the  whisky  out  of  the  bot- 
tle as  to  keep  the  foot  from  the  grave. 

Medical  men  administer  old  bourbon  innocently 
for  the  sake  of  stimulating  the  stomach,  and  as 
a  result  in  the  course  of  time  many  a  man  finds 
himself  a  drunkard  in  the  ditch.     It  is  the  sys- 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL.  225 

tern  that  is  wrong.  As  the  child  follows  the  ad- 
vice of  its  mother,  so  the  medical  student  heeds 
the  teaching  of  his  Alma  Mater.  From  her 
walls  he  goes  out  instructed  to  give  so  many- 
drops  of  a  certain  liquid  to  excite  the  nerves,  and 
so  many  drops  of  another  liquid  to  quiet  them, 
and  so  on  all  the  way  through  his  path  is  laid 
out. 

If  after  diagnosing,  prognosing,  and  prescrib- 
ing, the  patient  goes  down,  then  the  wine  and 
whisky  are  administered  to  aid  in  rallying  the 
weakened  life  forces. 

If  a  council  in  the  same  school  is  called,  his 
course  is  commended.  In  just  this  manner  the 
love  of  strong  drink  is  instilled  in  many  a  man, 
and  I  tell  you  if  our  national  curse  of  drunken- 
ness continues  for  a  period  of  five  hundred  years, 
God  will  have  to  send  people  in  a  balloon  to  re- 
populate  the  earth,  which  will  have  degenerated 
under  the  influence  of  whisky  from  a  world  of 
beauty  to  a  bald  knob. 

My  father  was  a  progressive  farmer,  and  was 

always  ready  to  lay  aside  an  old  plow  if  he  could 

replace  it  with  one   better   constructed    for    its 

work.      All  through  life  I  have  ever  been  ready 

to  buy  a  better  plow. 

So  when  I  found  a  way  out  of  the  big  drunk 
15 


22e  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

of  ignorance  and  superstition  into  which  we  were 
born,  the  belief  that  God  was  a  poor  mechanic 
and  needed  the  help  of  medicine,  then  I  was 
ready  to  walk  in  the  more  enlightened  path.  I 
fully  realize  how  tough  the  old  ways  were,  when 
I  remember  how  they  used  to  hold  my  nose  and 
spank  me  to  get. down  a  dose  of  caster-oil.  Then 
they  would  ask  God  to  bless  the  means  used  for 
my  recovery,  and  I  suppose  this  petition  included 
both  dose  and  blister. 

Osteopathy  does  not  look  on  a  man  as  a  crimi- 
nal before  God  to  be  puked,  purged,  and  made 
sick  and  crazy. 

It  is  a  science  that  analyzes  man  and  finds 
that  he  partakes  of  Divine  intelligence.  It  ac- 
quaints itself  with  all  his  attributes ;  and  if  the 
student  of  it  does  his  work  well,  and  goes  out 
with  his  brain  full  of  its  teachings,  instead  of 
his  pockets  full  of  cardamom -seed,  he  will  find 
by  results  that  its  principle  is  unerring, 

God  manifests  Himself  in  matter,  motion,  and 
mind.     Study  well  His  manifestations. 


CHAPTER   XV. 

Various  Diseases — Normal  and  Abnormal — Nerves  and  Veins 
— How  Often  to  Treat — Do  Not  Bruise  the  Muscles— The 
Battery  and  Engine — Beware  of  the  Buzzards. 

As  the  science  known  by  the  name  of  Oste- 
opathy is  accredited  to  me,  I  suppose  I  am  the 
oldest  Osteopath  now  on  earth,  1  also  think  I 
have  given  more  attention  to  the  study  of  the 
principles  of  this  science  than  all  persons  now 
living  combined.  Being  the  head  of  this  institu- 
tion, it  is  my  duty  to  impart  to  you  the  facts 
which  I  have  obtained  by  practise  and  observa- 
tion, during  twenty-five  years  in  combating  all 
kinds  of  diseases  of  this  climate.  Also  my  ob- 
servations in  obstetrics  and  diseases  of  women, 
diseases  of  children,  contagions  such  as  measles, 
whooping-cough,  and  on  through  the  whole  list, 
as  well  as  the  diseases  of  the  four  seasons  of  the 
year,  believing  that  my  observations  will  cover 
more  than  one  hundred  thousand  in  number. 
With  this  vast  field  of  observation  I  think  I  can 
tell  how  to  treat  and  when  to  treat  successfully, 
how  to  treat  and  when  to  treat  unsuccessfully, 


228  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL. 

just  how  much  and  how  little  force  to  apply, 
and  what  good  or  bad  effects  to  expect  by  ju- 
dicious or  injudicious  methods  of  treatment.  I 
think  I  am  prepared  by  experimental  knowledge 
to  instruct  and  caution  the  student  of  Osteopathy 
every  day  he  may  work  with  me  in  the  clinics, 
from  one  to  three  years.  There  are  some  dis- 
eases, and  very  few,  that  will  admit  of  two  treat- 
ments a  week;  others  once  a  week,  and  some 
once  in  two  weeks.  In  fact,  a  great  number  of 
times  should  not  be  for  a  moment  before  the 
mind  of  the  operator.  He  should  be  instructed 
to  ever  remember  that  the  infinite  exactness  of 
work  when  obtained  is  what  will  yield  the  suc- 
cess sought,  without  regard  to  the  number  of 
times.  When  you  know  the  difference  between 
normal  and  abnormal  you  have  learned  the  all- 
absorbing  first  question,  that  you  must  take  your 
abnormal  case  to  the  normal,  lay  it  down,  and  be 
satisfied  to  leave  it.  Never  leave  your  case  your- 
self until  you  have  obtained  such  results.  Thus  it 
is  far  better  to  familiarize  your  eye  and  hand 
with  the  normal  before  you  can  approach  the 
abnormal  intelligently.  We  want  first  on  your 
shoulders  a  normal  head,  with  normal  principles, 
then  we  can  bring  before  your  eyes  an  abnormal 
neck,  an  abnormal  arm,  spine,  limbs,  breast,  and 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL.  229 

you  can  r.eason  by  comparison,  because  you  have 
the  normal  as  a  foundation  on  which  to  build 
your  comparison  of  the  abnormal. 

My  observations  have  taught  me  that  in  cases 
of  asthma,  for  instance,  to  treat  oftener  than 
once  a  week  or  two  weeks  is  a  dangerous  pro- 
cedure, and  betrays  the  ignorance  of  the  would- 
be  philosopher.  Well  posted  by  experience,  I 
know  whereof  I  speak  on  this  subject,  and  if  you 
wish  to  be  a  success  in  this  science,  I  admonish 
you  to  give  heed  to  some  things  which  I  know 
and  I  expect  to  exact  at  your  hands.  You  should 
know  the  cause  of  a  disease  and  be  able  to  re- 
move it.  You  know  the  course  of  an  artery, 
nerve,  and  vein,  and  before  you  take  your  hands 
off  should  know  that  you  have  removed  all  ob- 
structions to  the  nerve,  vein,  and  artery,  giving 
force  and  nourishment  to  the  depleted  locality. 
Use  force  enough  to  remove  all  obstructions ;  be 
careful  that  you  bruise  none  of  the  delicate  parts, 
such  as  glands  and  membranes,  because  an  ig- 
norant head  and  a  heavy  hand  may  bruise  a  kid- 
ney, spleen,  gall-duct,  omentum,  or  some  of  the 
lymphatics. 

Remember  that  you  are  not  called  to  bruise  by 
force  any  delicate  organ,  which  you  are  liable 
to   and   will  do  if  you  have  no  judgment  and 


230  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL. 

simply  go  by  force,  and  great  number  of  treat- 
ments. One  judicious  and  wisely  applied  treat- 
ment once  a  week  is  enough  for  any  case  of  liver 
disease.  I  do  not  say  by  this  that  an  ignorant 
paddhng  of  the  side  on  which  the  liver  is  located 
and  kneading  the  bowels  like  a  bull  would  knead 
a  hay-stack  with  his  horns  is  to  be  considered  a 
treatment.  An  intelligent  head  will  soon  learn 
that  a  soft  hand  and  a  gentle  move  is  the  hand 
and  head  that  get  the  desired  result.  When 
you  are  dealing  with  a  diseased  liver  or  any  other 
part  of  the  body,  remember  the  highest  officer  in 
command  is  the  artery  of  nourishment,  which 
must  be  assisted  by  the  nerve  of  motion  and  the 
vein  of  renovation.  When  these  three  principles 
are  left  in  full  control,  and  you  know  that  you 
have  done  what  is  necessary  for  this  purpose, 
then  tell  your  patient,  "One  week  from  to-day 
I  will  examine  and  treat  you  again,"  at  which 
time  you  will  see  that  your  work  has  not  gotten 
out  of  shape  and  order  by  false  strains  or  other- 
wise. Then  you  are  warranted  to  go  further 
with  your  treatment,  because  the  surrounding 
tissues  and  delicate  fibers  have  had  a  chance  to 
be  relieved  from  dead  and  inactive  fluids,  and 
have  taken  on  some  nourishment.  As  the  case 
progresses  you  go  on  with  more  extended  treat- 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  231 

raent,  ever  having  your  eye  fixed  on  the  whole 
nutrient  system,  which  can  do  but  little  good 
previous  to  renovation. 

Any  washwoman  understands  the  truth  of  this 
statement.  She  first  washes  the  dirt  out  of  the 
clothes,  then  applies  the  nutritious  starch  like  a 
woman  with  good  horse  sense.  When  you  have 
washed  the  body  of  all  its  dirt,  through  the  ex- 
cretories,  you  are  now  ready  for  the  starch  of  the 
arteries. 

There  are  but  few  hours  now  remaining  of  the 
twenty-four  years  that  I  have  devoted  to  the 
study  of  the  machinery  of  human  life,  to  know 
when  it  is  in  normal  condition.  I  began  with 
the  bone  framework;  then  its  ligamentous  at- 
tachments, its  preparations  for  and  attachments 
of  muscles;  all  organs,  vessels  and  divisions  that 
take  part  in  constructing  bones,  muscle,  ligament, 
membrane,  nerve,  positive,  negative,  motor,  sen- 
sory, voluntary,  involuntary,  nutrient,  and  sym- 
pathetic, whose  duties  are  to  construct  and  move 
in  selection  of  kinds  and  qualities  to  suit.  The 
power  to  place  wisely  and  with  exactness,  which 
the  architect  demands  under  the  rigors  of  a  fore- 
man that  receives  nothing  but  xjerfection  in  con- 
structing a  temple — to  receive  in  workmanlike 
order  a  dwelling-place  for  the  spirit-man  in  such 


232  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

perfect  running  order  that  the  indweller  may  be 
able  to  operate  the  machinery  easily  at  all  times, 
is  evident. 

My  study  during  all  the  years  just  spoken  of 
has  been  to  know  what  the  machine  is,  where  all 
its  parts  are  placed,  their  uses,  supports,  actions, 
relations — separately  and  united — the  whole  with 
harmonious  action  when  driven  by  the  power  of 
life  at  the  command  of  God,  who  gives  power  to 
all  elements  of  force  that  exist  beneath  the  great 
throne  of  mind  and  from  which  reason  is  im- 
parted to  all  beings  who  can  and  do  have  that 
wonderful  quality. 

At  this  time  I  wish  to  drop  further  hunting  for 
parts  and  details  of  the  machinery,  and  place  my 
telescope  on  a  more  elevated  position  for  observa- 
tions, in  order  to  obtain  more  knowledge  of  the 
hows  and  whys  of  the  workings  of  this  product 
of  the  mind  of  the  Infinite.  I  feel  that  twenty- 
five  years  of  constant  study  on  the  parts  of  man, 
separated  and  combined,  has  prepared  me  fairly 
well  to  enter  the  higher  classes  as  a  beginner  to 
study  the  active  laws  of  life — to  inquire  into  the 
hows  and  whys  of  the  workings  and  failures  of 
the  whole  being  (man). 

In  my  study  I  began  with  the  bones.  I  asso- 
ciated  them   in   attachments  by  adhesive  liga- 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  233 

ments,  which  bind  every  bone  to  every  other 
bone  of  the  body,  wisely  formulated  for  all  pur- 
poses and  uses  for  which  bone  and  substances 
were  constructed.  They  receive  and  operate 
belts,  straps,  pulleys,  aprons,  and  all  of  the 
necessary  forms  of  the  softer  parts  of  this  great 
machine  which  is  to  be  operated  by  the  force 
known  as  animal  life. 

We  find  two  large  and  complete  systems  of 
vessels  called  the  channels  of  blood,  through 
which  to  and  from  a  great  reservoir  containing 
the  fluids  are  known  as  the  rivers  of  life,  whose 
duty  it  is  to  convey  material  to  all  parts  of  the 
body  without  any  omission  whatever. 

We  trace  from  this  great  tank  to  another  foun- 
tain of  supplies  which  we  call  the  machinery  of 
nutrition.  We  behold  the  process  from  which 
crude  material  this  sustaining  and  containing 
blood  is  generated,  prepared,  and  delivered  to  the 
heart,  to  be  sent  to  all  divisions  and  receive 
chemical  qualifications  to  suit  the  indweller. 

Thus  we  hear  the  appellation  the  "blood  of 
life"  with  exactness  and  perfection  in  all  parts 
and  principles,  as  the  fiat  and  command  of  the 
great  architect  and  builder  of  this  machine.  We 
must  first  acquaint  ourselves  with  all  its  work- 
ings in  the  normal  before  we  are  prepared  to 


234  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

comprehend  or  think  intelligently  of  the  mean- 
ing of  the  word  ahnormal,  signifying  confusion 
and  imperfection  in  all  that  is  known,  and  meant 
by  the  words  confuse,  confound,  derange,  de- 
stroy, fail,  stagnation,  and  death. 

Having  completed  the  study  of  bones,  the  re- 
lations of  one  to  all  others  in  form,  how  beauti- 
fully they  work,  how  nicely  they  are  attached, 
how  well  formed  to  receive  attachments  and  in- 
sertion of  all  muscles  and  ligaments,  nicely  di- 
vided and  spaced  in  such  condition  as  to  allow 
the  blood  vessels  and  nerves  of  all  kinds  to  per- 
meate and  deliver  all  fluids  of  life  and  action  in 
every  minutia  to  the  common  whole,  we  are  lost 
in  wonder  and  admiration. 

We  are  led  to  ask  the  question,  "  On  whom  or 
what  does  this  engine  depend  for  its  motive 
force?" — by  which  all  this  skilled  work  seen  in  full 
motion,  quietly,  heroically,  and  with  infinite  ex- 
actness, hauling  and  delivering  its  nicely  pre- 
pared elements  to  each  and  every  station  where 
construction  must  receive  and  blend  without  a 
murmur  with  the  next  motive  force;  whose  duty 
is  to  keep  all  vessels,  channels,  and  routes  for  all 
substances  cleaned  and  purified  by  the  invigorat- 
mg  powers  of  obstructed  fluids,  as  they  flow  over, 
oil,  smooth,  lubricate,  and  water  from  the  great 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  235 

systems  of  aqueducts,  cominonly  known  as  lym- 
phatics, of  bone,  nerves,  blood-vessels,  stomach, 
bowels,  heart,  liver,  kidneys,  and  every  known 
principle  or  vessel  that  contains  any  of  .the  great 
and  wisel}'  prepared  fluids  of  life,  from  the  atom 
of  conception  to  the  completed  child  at  birth, 
youth,  man,  woman,  animals  of  the  earth,  fowls 
of  the  air,  fish  of  the'  sea,  earth  itself,  and  all 
stars  and  worlds,  and  the  angels  that  hover 
around  the  "throne,"  All  must  have,  and  can- 
not act  without  the  highest  known  order  of  force 
(electricity),  which  submits  to  the  voluntary  and 
involuntary  commands  of  life  and  mind,  by 
which  worlds  are  driven  and  beings  move. 

We  are  now  in  presence  of  the  great  question, 
"What  is  the  battery  which  drives  blood  to  con- 
struct beings  and  maintain  material  forms  to 
play  their  parts  as  worlds  with  life  ?"  Who  under- 
stands the  mathematical  positions  of  space,  and 
maintain  by  so  adjusting  the  motions  and  steps 
to  keep  in  line  and  time  to  the  music  that  is  in- 
tended to  be  observed  by  carefully  thinking  of 
the  harmony  required  in  moving  that  great 
army  of  worlds,  that  they  may  never  break 
ranks  without  orders,  which  order,  disobeyed, 
might  be  a  collapse  and  destruction  of  the  whole 
universe. 


236  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.    T.  STILL. 

Thus  an  exacting  God  has  given  the  command : 
"  Attention,  worlds,"  "  Into  line,  ye  suns  and  plan- 
ets," "Music  b}'  the  band,"  "Forward,  march," 
"Left!  Left!  Left!  and  never  halt,"  for  all  is  in 
motion  and  never  halted  to  even  give  birth  to 
a  baby  world.  "Go  on,  and  on,"  is  my  com- 
mand, as  seems  to  be  from  the  very  mouth 
and  mind  of  God,  as  we  would  now  express  the 
thought,  for  motion  is  found  in  all  worlds  and 
beings. 

We  are  conducted  by  thought  to  the  power  of 
mind  with  all  its  works  and  beauties,  with  the 
exacting  commands  of  perfection.  At  this  time 
we  are  left  in  the  midst  of  an  ocean  of  thought, 
with  some  evidences  that  by  combining  the  brain 
with  the  heart  we  see  its  force  and  source  by 
which  the  machinery  of  life  is  driven,  of  which 
we  will  tell  you  more  of  what  we  see  pass  before 
our  telescopes  in  the  far-off  hidden  mysteries  as 
we  grow  older  and  wiser,  if  ever.  From  my  lack 
of  knowledge  and  want  of  wisdom  as  an  opera- 
tive engineer,  I  must  halt  and  take  the  place  of 
a  speculative  brother,  gone  from  labor  to  refresh- 
ments for  all  the  days  of  my  life.  I  cannot  be 
happy  and  be  idle.  I  will  use  my  pen  and  feed 
the  coming  minds  the  best  I  can.  So  I  must  say 
farewell  as  a  physical  engineer. 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL  237 

From  the  day  of  Moses  until  the  present  time, 
by  habit  and  education,  we  have  heen  taught  to 
beheve  and  depend  upon  drugs  as  the  only  known 
method  of  obtaining  relief  from  pain,  sickness, 
and  death.  By  habit  and  use  of  drugs  in  sick- 
ness through  so  many  generations,  we  as  a  peo- 
ple think  there  is  no  remedy  outside  of  them, 
and  as  the  mind  has  been  so  unalterably  fixed  on 
that  thought  for  so  many  years  during  all  ages 
of  the  past,  people  have  felt  it  a  duty,  if  not  a 
necessity,  to  be  governed  by  established  customs. 
We  feel  when  our  friends  are  sick  we  must  do 
something  to  relieve  them.  If  the  household 
remedies  fail,  we  call  in  the  family  doctor  and 
turn  the  case  over  to  him,  and  he  will  call  coun- 
sel when  he  feels  he  cannot  manage  the  disease. 
Then  if  the  patient  dies,  the  family  and  friends 
are  satisfied  that  all  had  been  done  for  the  suf- 
ferer that  was  possible;  every  known  remedy 
and  skill  has  been  exhausted,  and  we  must  be 
content  with  the  results.  Death  has  prevailed, 
and  we  feel  that  we  have  done  our  duty. 

I  wish  to  say  to  the  graduates  who  are  about 
to  go  out  in  the  world,  that  when  I  entered  this 
contest  I  took  as  my  foundation  to  build  upon 
that  the  whole  universe  with  its  worlds,  men, 
and  women,  fishes,   fowls,  and  beasts,  with  all 


338  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL. 

their  forms  and  principles  of  life,  were  formu- 
lated by  the  mind  of  an  unerring  God. 

He  has  placed  all  the  principles  of  motion, 
life,  and  all  its  remedies  to  be  used  in  sickness 
inside  of  the  human  body.  He  has  placed  them 
somewhere  in  the  structure  if  He  knew  how,  or 
He  has  left  His  machinery  of  life  at  the  very 
point  wherein  His  skill  should  execute  its  most 
important  work, 

I  have  given  you  the  reasons  why  I  believed  I 
was  warranted  in  testing  God's  skill  as  a  doctor, 
and  must  proceed  cautiously  to  my  duty.  How 
to  do,  was  the  all-absorbing  question  of  my 
mind.  I  finally  concluded  that  I  would  do  like 
unto  a  carpenter  when  he  knows  he  has  the  ele- 
ments to  contend  with  and  desires  to  cover  an 
old  house  with  new  shingles.  If  he  takes  the 
shingles  all  off  at  once,  he  exposes  all  that  is  in 
the  house  to  rain,  hail,  or  what  may  be  in  the 
elements.  A  wise  carpenter  would  take  off  a 
few  at  a  time,  and  cover  what  he  had  exposed 
before  proceeding  further. 

I  knew  it  would  not  do  to  take  the  shingles  of 
hope  (medicine)  off  the  afflicted  all  at  once.  I 
felt  that  such  a  move  with  my  knowledge  of 
cause  and  effect  would  be  calamitous.  Soon  I 
met  a  case  of  flux,  and  being  a  physician,  and 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL.  239 

familiar  with  the  remedies  for  such  disease,  such 
questions  as  these  arose:  What  was  God's  rem- 
edy? Has  God  a  drug-store?  Does  he  use  seda- 
tives for  flux?  Does  he  use  sweating-powders, 
such  as  Dover's  and  so  forth?  Does  he  use  as- 
tringents? Does  he  use  alcohol  in  any  form  in 
prostration,  and  if  he  does,  what  does  he  use  it 
for?  And  why  is  it  one  dies  with  flux  and  an- 
other gets  well  after  having  used  the  same  rem- 
edies? Would  our  dead  patient  have  lived  had 
we  kept  our  drugs  out  of  him?  Did  the  conva- 
lescent have  the  power  to  resist  both  disease  and 
drugs?  You  may  answer  the  question,  I  can- 
not. One  is  dead,  the  other  alive,  and  that  is 
all  I  know  about  it ;  and  my  brother  councilman 
expresses  the  same  feeling,  and  says,  "I  do  not 
know." 

When  all  remedies  seemed  to  fail  in  my  first 
case  of  flux,  I  felt  I  had  done  my  duty  and  no 
censure  would  follow  in  case  of  death.  Myself 
and  council  had  agreed  that  this  case  was  bound 
to  die. 

Without  any  instruction  or  text-book  to  be 
governed  by,  I  concluded  to  take  one  shingle  off 
of  the  spinal  cord  and  see  if  I  could  not  put  a 
new  one  in  its  place  that  would  do  better.  To 
my  great  surprise  I  found  the  flux  stopped   at 


240  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL. 

once.  That  shingle  contained  all  the  opium, 
whiskey,  and  quinine  that  God  thought  neces- 
sary to  cure  flux.  That  shingle  took  the  pain 
out,  the  fever  off,  and  stopped  the  discharge  from 
the  bowels,  and  my  confidence  in  drugs  was  very 
badly  shaken  then  and  there. 

I  soon  had  opportunities  to  treat  many  more 
cases  of  flux,  all  of  which  recovered  without  the 
use  of  any  drug  that  was  recommended  by  our 
standard  authorities,  which  convinced  me  that 
the  laws  of  God  are  trustworthy  when  thoroughly 
understood.  By  investigation  I  was  led  to  a  bet- 
ter understanding  of  the  cause  of  flux,  and  that 
flux  was  an  effect  that  could  be  traced  to  a  cause 
in  the  spinal  cord  or  other  nerves,  and  the  rem- 
edy should  be  addressed  to  cause  and  not  the 
effect. 

I  felt  proud  to  be  able  to  say  to  the  people  that 
I  could  throw  all  the  known  remedies  for  flux 
out  of  the  window,  and  give  them  a  reliable  and 
demonstrative  substitute  that  I  found  on  a  pre- 
scription written  by  the  hand  of  the  Infinite. 

I  kept  up  this  method  of  removing  old  and 
putting  on  new  shingles  until  the  house  was 
entirely  covered. 

I  have  written  this  bit  of  history  for  the  ex- 
press purpose  of  warning  all  students  of  Osteop- 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL.  241 

athy  against  the  danger  of  breaking  down  when 
they  have  a  diflScult  case,  and  sending  for  some 
drug  doctor  and  asking  him  to  do  that  which  they 
cannot,  because  they  do  not  know  what  set  of 
nerves  are  disturbed  by  pressure,  and  are  made  to 
assert  that  what  they  have  said  about  the  power 
of  nature  to  cure  is  false,  or  else  they  do  not 
understand  their  business.  There  are  some  Oste- 
opaths out  in  the  field,  trying  to  treat  Osteopathi- 
cally,  and  yet  have  a  drug  doctor  running  around 
with  them.  If  one  will  examine  their  work  he 
will  find  such  persons  feeble  in  Osteopathic  knowl- 
edge, with  less  than  one  year  in  school  previous 
to  the  time  of  offering  their  services  to  the  peo- 
ple. You  are  apt  to  find  on  their  cards  such  and 
such  M.D. 's  in  our  office,  with  a  great  long  apol- 
ogy for  our  ignorance,  and  say  we  do  thus  and 
so  to  please  the  people. 

Every  drug  tolerated  by  an  Osteopath  in  a  dis- 
ease will  shake  the  confidence  of  your  most  intel- 
ligent patients,  and  cause  them  to  always  take 
your  words,  skill,  and  ability  at  a  great  discount. 
I  would  advise  you  to  bathe  your  heads  long  and 
often  in  the  rivers  of  divine  confidence,  and  pray 
God  to  take  care  of  you  with  other  weak-minded 
people,  who  pretend  to  know   that  which  they 

have  not  studied. 
16 


242  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

Rely  on  your  anatomy,  phj^siology,  and  rub 
your  heads,  or  deny  the  perfection  of  God  and 
intelligence,  and  say,  I  am  only  Osteopathy  in  one 
pocket  and  pills  in  the  other,  and  none  in  my 
head.  Much  more  could  be  written  on  this  line, 
but  I  have  said  enough  to  warn  you  against 
being  a  kite-tail  to  any  system  of  drugs  which  is 
your  most  deadly  enem}'.  A  doctor  will  use  you 
for  what  money  he  can  get  out  of  you.  Osteopa- 
thy is  now  legalized  in  four  states,  and  you  do 
not  have  to  compromise  your  profession  nor  your 
dignity  by  associating  with  anything.  Your 
opportunities  from  the  American  School  of  Oste- 
opath}' to  master  the  science  are  good,  your 
foundation  is  solid.  I  want  you  to  come  back 
with  heads  up,  and  on  your  return  I  want  you  to 
say,  "  I  have  transacted  my  business  as  the  insti- 
tution teaches  me,  without  the  aid  or  assistance 
of  any  medical  doctor,  either  before  or  behind  me. 
I  have  proven  that  the  laws  of  the  Infinite  are 
all-suflBcient  when  properly  administered." 

When  you  are  out  in  the  field  the  medical  doc- 
tors will  sail  around  you  like  buzzards  do  over  a 
sick  cow,  pick  your  eyes  out,  and  fill  their  pock- 
ets from  your  labor,  and  that  is  all  the  use  they 
have  for  you. 


CHAPTER   XVI. 

A.  Demand  for  a  Revolution — A  Plea  for  an  Advance  in  Os- 
teopathy— Object  of  Osteopathy — How  to  Irrigate — Death 
Defined — How  Pain  is  Created — The  Building  of  the  Thigh- 
Bone — The  Solvent  Powers  of  Life — The  Destruction  of 
Pain — The  Object  of  Moving  Bones  and  Muscles. 

An  absolute  demand  for  revolution  is  before  us 
at  this  day  knd  time,  for  there  is  a  demand  for  a 
progressive  step  in  the  line  of  treating  disease. 
We  have  been  satisfied  by  the  results  obtained, 
and  became  strictly  dominated  by  form  each  day, 
repeating  what  we  have  done.  Our  hands  are 
far  ahead  of  the  position  that  should  be  regu- 
lated by  thought. 

For  a  number  of  days  I  have  been  haunted  by 
the  feeling  that  we  are  in  danger  of  getting  in  a 
rut  unworthy  of  higher  consideration  than  should 
fall  to  mere  imitation.  Let  us  not  be  governed 
to-day  by  what  we  did  yesterday,  nor  to-morrow 
by  what  we  do  to-day,  for  day  by  day  we  must 
show  progress.  In  early  days  we  made  hundreds 
of  moves  of  muscles  and  parts  of  the  system. 
Some  we  cured  and  some  we  did  not.  Which 
did  the  good  and  which  the  harm,  we  could  not 


244  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

tell;  still  we  allowed  ourselves  to  be  proud  of  the 
great  per  cent  of  cures  that  we  obtained  under 
this  system  of  hit-and-miss. 

At  the  head  of  our  column  we  carry  a  flag  of 
progress,  and  should  honor  it  with  greater  results 
by  better  applications  of  the  principles  of  Osteop- 
athy. We  must  avoid  the  dust  of  habit.  We 
must  so  adjust  our  telescopes  that  we  may  set 
our  compass  to  run  to  stars  of  greater  magni- 
tude, that  shine  from  the  breast  of  the  exacting 
Infinite.  He  Himself  cannot  succeed  without  a 
close  observance  of  the  laws  of  success,  which 
are  uncompromising  and  absolute.  If  so,  we 
should  never  move  a  bone,  muscle,  ligament,  or 
nerve  with  a  view  of  healing  the  afflicted,  but 
move  at  such  time  and  place  as  uncompromising 
demands  order  and  enforce.  To  make  the  sick 
well  is  no  duty  of  the  operator,  but  to  adjust  a 
part  or  whole  of  the  system  that  the  rivers  of  life 
may  flow  in  and  irrigate  the  famishing  fields. 
We  should  stop  and  consider  at  the  point  of  irri- 
gation how  often  the  mains  should  be  opened  to 
supply  the  ditches,  how  long  the  sun  of  life 
should  shine  upon  that  crop,  to  do  its  duties  of 
nourishing  and  vitalizing  them  according  to  in- 
dividual demands,  I  have  said  to  heal  the  sick 
is  a  duty  that  belongs  to  another  division  of  Ope- 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  245 

rators,  and  not  to  hewers  of  timber,  nor  muscles 
of  force,  but  to  the  rivers  of  life  only.  To  irri- 
gate too  much  is  as  detrimental  as  too  little  or 
not  at  all.  How  much?  is  the  all-important  ques- 
tion to  solve.  The  kind  and  quantity  must  be 
supplied  at  the  right  time  and  place  only.  If 
this  fluid  be  in  the  brain,  open  the  rivers  and 
they  will  expel  all  driftwood  and  unkindly  sub- 
stances, and  proceed  at  once  to  the  duties  of  their 
division,  which  is  life  with  all  its  harmony. 
That  division  is  law  and  life  itself. 

Cause  and  effect  are  perpetual.  Cause  may 
not  be  as  large  in  the  beginning  in  some  cases  as 
others,  but  time  adds  to  the  effect  until  the  effect 
overbalances  cause,  and  the  end  is  death.  Death 
is  the  completed  work  of  development  of  the  sum 
total  of  effect  to  a  finished  work  of  nature. 

I  only  ask  of  the  reader  to  carefully  note  the 
different  and  continued  change  in  effect  as  ad- 
ditional elements  enter  the  contest  and  give  effect 
the  ascendancy. 

Two  or  more  elements  added  may  cause  pain. 
One  may  be  acid;  add  fibrin  and  you  may  get 
adhesion  ;  add  sugar,  and  you  may  have  gall  and 
ease  in  place  of  pain,  simply  by  the  vital  or  gall 
principles  found  at  the  origin  of  the  gall-produc- 
ing nerves  in  the  brain.     Therefore  when  we  are 


246  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

suffering  from  the  effect  of  delays  in  cardiac 
nerves  to  forward  blood  in  sufficient  quantities  to 
supply  cervix,  we  have  as  cause  of  such  pain 
simply  too  feeble  motion  to  start  blood  to  an 
action  of  its  latent  vitality.  Thus  you  have 
quantity  and  quality  minus  motion  to  the  degree 
of  heat  by  which  magnetism  can  begin  the  work 
of  vital  repairs,  or  association  of  the  principles  of 
the  crude  elements  of  nature,  and  construct  a 
suitable  superstructure  in  which  life  can  only 
dwell. 

When  perfect  harmony  is  not  found  in  forms 
and  function,  then  we  lack  speed  in  the  magnetic 
motion,  and  get  by  such  inaction  an  electric 
action  which  only  enters  to  conduct  the  actions 
of  compounding  the  elements  of  active  destruc- 
tion by  electricity  as  generated  by  the  motor 
nerves  of  death.  In  this  you  have  death  by  elec- 
tricity with  all  its  active  powers,  self-armed  from 
the  laboratory  of  nature,  which  is  both  the  action 
of  life  by  magnetism  and  death  by  the  eternal 
motor  power  of  all  worlds  and  atoms. 

As  we  are  not  willing  to  attribute  to  Deity 
anything  but  perfection,  and  would  be  highly 
offended  at  any  one  who  would  even  hint  at  such 
ideas,  we  must  see  that  our  acts  are  in  line  with 
our  words.     Not  only  in  a  general  phraseology 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  247 

that  His  works  prove  His  perfection,  but  we  must 
see  and  know  that  His  work  of  animal  is  partly 
a  failure  before  we  are  justified  in  our  conclusion 
to  assist  His  man  to  subdue  even  a  fever  by  the 
use  of  a  drug  of  any  kind. 

We  should  be  very  careful  not  to  allow  our 
actions  to  place  us  on  the  disk  of  the  brilliant 
sun  of  indisputable  contradiction.  Contradic- 
tions in  man  are  bad  enough,  and  occasionally  we 
prove  some  cross  lines  in  his  stories  by  his  acts 
and  deeds.  Who  could,  even  if  he  should  try, 
prove  a  trace  of  failure  or  neglect  in  the  com- 
pleteness of  the  work  of  God,  in  any  part  of  that 
masterpiece  of  architecture,  man,  when  finished 
by  His  hand  in  His  own  likeness  and  image,  and 
by  Himself  pronounced  very  good?  Is  He  a 
judge?  What  is  His  opinion  worth?  Would 
He  call  an  incomplete  job  even  good,  or  be  so 
deceptive  as  to  say  very  good,  and  know  it  was 
not  truth?  Does  not  a  man  of  reason  see  he 
must  find  failure  in  the  machinery  of  man  before 
he  is  justified  to  give  suggestions  of  amendments 
to  the  works  to  the  Architect  who  designed  the 
machine  and  set  it  in  running  order? 

I  have  something  to  tell  you  of  the  wonderful 
process  of  building  which  mentally  I  have  seen 
going  on.     Now,  do  not  credit  me  with  too  much 


248  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

excitement  or  weakness  of  mind,  0  ye  philos- 
ophers, astronomers,  divines,  teachers,  and  law- 
makers! but  follow  me  for  a  few  minutes  while  I 
draw  your  minds  out  to  such  extent  that  you  can 
both  see  and  hear  the  remarkable  work  I  am  to 
report. 

The  commander  of  my  store  of  wisdom  has  for 
once  called  a  halt,  as  I  view  one  of  the  most 
mysterious  and  beautiful  sights  of  my  life — the 
working  of  the  Grand  Architect  and  His  subordi- 
nates on  a  bone — human  in  kind,  a  femur  by 
name. 

Draw  your  mental  microscope,  raise  it  to  its 
greatest  power  as  you  read  the  specifications 
for  this  unique  building.  Now  the  order  is 
given  by  the  Commanding  General  to  His  sub- 
ordinates. 

"Attention!  officers,  infantry,  and  cavalry!" 
Fall  into  line,  ye  workmen,  and  proceed  to  ex- 
ecute with  mathematical  precision  every  block 
and  every  stringer,  uniting  with  minute  exact- 
ness. Let  your  work  be  correct,  faultless,  for 
the  specifications  require  a  construction  so  care- 
fully done  that  though  the  Infinite  Mind  became 
for  a  time  a  sub-committeeman  to  examine  your 
work,  it  would  be  found  that  you  have  fulfilled 
the  requirements  of  the  specification  demanding 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  249 

the  building  of  a  thigh-bone,  perfect  in  all  its 
material  and  mental  parts. 

Ever  remember  that  the  word  "perfect"  means 
no  more  and  no  less  than  the  fiat  of  God  that  His 
work  has  been  concluded  with  absolute  exact- 
ness. 

Behold  with  me  the  division  commanders,  each 
in  place,  bearing  the  insignia  of  his  rank ;  the 
Commanding  General  speaks  positively  to  the 
ordnance  department:  "Fill  and  keep  the  maga- 
zine of  force  and  motion  supplied  with  that 
which  is  chemically  pure  and  needful  to  the 
building  up  of  this  wonderful  structure,  which 
is  only  part  of  the  superstructure  commonly 
called  man." 

All  orders  are  given  in  silence  and  obeyed 
without  a  murmur. 

Every  subordinate  comes  with  that  which  is 
necessary  for  construction,  and  the  masons  (cor- 
puscles) of  this  work  go  forth  with  pleasure  to 
execute  the  design  of  their  superior,  knowing 
their  work  will  be  carefully  examined  and  their 
lives  will  pay  the  forfeit  in  case  of  failure  to  ful- 
fil all  requirements. 

The  Commanding  General  says  to  each  subordi- 
nate :  "  Carry  your  burden  and  deposit  it  in  work- 
manlike style,"     The  well-trained  army  proceeds 


250  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

with  the  atoms  as  selected  hy  the  Divine  inspec- 
tor, and  no  more  care  is  expended  in  the  selection 
than  is  expected  to  be  shown  in  depositing  them 
in  and  on  the  wall  according  to  the  place  by  pre- 
vious instruction. 

The  order  has  gone  forth,  each  workman  obeys 
the  command;  thousands  upon  thousands,  mil- 
lions and  millions  hear  and  obey  this  fiat : 

"  Go  and  labor  day  and  night,  night  and  day, 
until  this  part  is  completed,  inspected,  and  re- 
ceived." 

A  part  of  the  constructing  force  is  engaged  in 
repairing  all  waste  and  losses  that  occur  during 
the  years  of  mortal  life.  Nor  do  they  forget  the 
command  of  cleanliness,  which  is  the  reverse  of 
construction  to  carr}"  away  all  worn-out  frag- 
ments of  this  wonderful  part  of  the  machine. 
While  they  are  adjusting  it  to  its  natural  place 
in  the  bone,  other  divisions  and  commands  are 
fulfilling  the  order  of  a  like  femur  to  be  its  help- 
mate. 

Being  now  held  in  place  to  the  body  and  ac- 
cepted as  finished,  they  wait  with  anxiety  an- 
other higher  order.  Arise,  move,  and  forever 
house  and  care  for  the  great  indweller,  the  spirit 
of  man,  the  essence  and  secret  of  God  and  the 
unsolved  problem  of  eternity. 


BUST    OF   A.  T.  STILL. 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  951 

The  solvent  powers  of  life  dissolve  all  fluids 
and  solids  from  blood  to  bone.  The  powers  of 
lymph  are  not  known.  A  quantity  of  blood  may 
be  thrown  from  a  ruptured  vein  or  artery  and 
form  a  large  tumefaction  of  the  parts,  causing 
a  temporary  suspension  of  the  vital  forces  there- 
unto belonging.  Without  a  previous  provision 
to  remove  this  accumulation,  nature  will  be 
forced  to  come  to  a  halt  and  behold  the  ruins. 
By  reason  we  arrive  at  the  conclusion  that  the 
duties  of  nature  are  perpetual  labor  through  the 
vast  cycles  of  eternity,  conducted  by  the  skilful 
plans  of  that  principle  of  mind  commonly  known 
as  God,  which  has  the  power  to  transpose  and 
transform  all  substances,  uniting  them  in  such 
proportions  and  endowing  them  with  such 
qualities  and  additions  as  will  make  perfect 
work. 

To  dissolve  bones  by  the  sole  penetrating  force 
or  action  of  an  acid,  with  equally  compounded 
forces  commonly  known  as  alkalies,  proceed  to 
the  duties  of  dissolving  albuminous  and  fibrin- 
ous substances. 

On  this  foundation  we  are  warranted  to  con- 
clude that  nature  at  will  can  and  does  produce 
their  solvents  which  may  be  necessary  to  melt 
down  deposits  of  fiber,  bone,  or  any  fluid  or  solid 


252  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

found  in  the  human  body.  If  we  grant  this  law 
we  must  acknowledge  an  infinite  and  perfect 
power  to  plan  and  execute  its  designs,  compound- 
ing and  creating  any  and  all  kinds  of  chemical 
substances  to  dissolve  to  the  lowest  order  of 
fluids,  which  approach  very  closely  the  gaseous 
conditions  of  solids,  previous  to  applying  the  ren- 
ovating forces  which  must  come  in  due  time  and 
carry  away  all  dead,  useless,  and  obstructing  de- 
posits, previous  to  inviting  the  corpuscles  of  con- 
struction to  take  possession. 

Direct  and  reconstruct  blood-vessels,  nerves, 
muscles,  membranes,  ligaments,  skin,  and  bone 
with  all  their  forms,  that  life  may  have  peaceful 
and  harmonious  possession,  and  enter  anew  the 
field  of  action  and  proceed  to  execute  its  work 
without  the  interference  of  the  inharmonies  just 
disposed  of.  Anxious  nature  stands  fully  armed 
and  equipped,  and  more  than  willing  to  execute 
all  duties  devolving  upon  her,  knowing  at  the 
same  time  that  obedience  to  those  exacting  laws 
is  all  that  is  known  or  accredited  to  them  as 
success. 

The  least  rebellious  or  unwilling  servant  may 
be  the  beginning  of  the  downfall  of  the  whole 
army. 

Let  your  eyes  be  a  microscope  of  the  greatest 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL.  253 

known  power.  Let  your  mind  penetrate  to  the 
remotest  period  of  thought  by  the  telescope  of 
reason.  See  the  busy  mind  of  God  rejoicing  at 
the  beautiful  work  of  his  machinery,  cutting  and 
designing  forms  for  fowls  of  the  air  and  fish  of 
the  sea.  Thus  we  are  admonished  to  allow  no 
opportunity  to  pass  by  of  remembering  the  great 
in j action,  "Despise  not  the  day  of  small  things." 
I  am — I  was  without  beginning  of  days  or  end 
of  time — eternally  the  same  law.  My  greatest 
stones  from  foundation  to  dome  are  atoms  in  all 
superstructures  wherein  life  prevails.  Animals, 
fish,  and  fowls,  angels  and  worlds,  are  atoms  of 
which  you  are  composed .  They  are  the  associated 
millions  which  complete  worlds  of  the  greatest 
magnitude,  without  which  the  eye  that  beholdeth 
the  same  could  not  behold  their  beauties.  There- 
fore be  kind  in  thought  to  the  atoms  of  life,  or  in 
death  you  will  be  borne  to  the  grave  bj'  the 
beasts  of  burden  who  carry  nothing  to  the  tombs 
but  the  bodies  of  heedless  stupidity,  the  mourn- 
ers being  the  asses  who  cry  and  bray  over  the 
loss  of  their  dear  brother. 

What  is  the  object  of  moving  bones,  muscles, 
and  ligaments,  which  are  suspending  the  powers 
of  the  nerves  and  so  on?  A  very  common  an- 
swer is,  to  loosen  up  all  spaces  through  which 


254  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

Derves,  veins,  and  arteries  convey  elements  of 
life  and  motion.  If  that  be  your  answer,  then 
you  have  fallen  far  short  of  an  answer  that  is 
based  on  a  knowledge  of  the  basic  principles  of 
life  in  beings,  its  methods  of  preparing  to  repair 
some  part,  organ,  limb,  or  the  whole  system.  If 
an  over-accumulation  should  appear  and  obstruct 
the  process  of  life  to  annoy  the  normal  harmony 
to  such  measure  as  to  produce  unrest  or  disease, 
would  you  or  I  be  satisfied  to  know  we  had 
simply  given  the  sufferer  a  good  shaking  up, 
had  pulled  the  arms  and  legs,  feet,  hands,  back, 
thumbs,  and  fingers,  taken  a  cob  or  a  rough 
hand  and  kneaded  the  chest,  limbs,  and  abdo- 
men, as  we  have  done  and  do  so  many  times  a 
day  or  week?  No,  we  would  renovate  first  by 
lymph,  giving  it  time  to  do  its  work  of  atomiz- 
ing all  crudities  first.  Then  we  can  expect  to 
see  the  effect  of  growing  processes  as  a  natural 
result.  Let  us  reason  with  a  faith  that  nature 
does  know  how  to  get  blood  away  from  the  black- 
ened eyes  of  the  pugilist.  The  blood  is  spilt  from 
broken  veins  in  spaces  around.  It  is  out  of  veins 
and  arteries  both.  Now,  if  you  notice,  nature 
throws  in  lymph  and  other  fluids;  you  soon  see 
blood  change  from  a  black  clot  to  a  fluid  con- 
dition, and  grow  thinner  each  day  until  all  has 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  255 

disappeared,  and  the  face  and  skin  go  back  to 
their  normal  condition  and  appearance.  If  you 
can  and  do  reason,  you  must  know  that  nature 
has  a  solvent  of  all  pluses  that  appear  as  lumps 
or  thickened  places  on  muscles,  skin,  or  glands. 
The  same  law  in  stiff  joints  and  the  deposits 
around  muscles,  tendons,  and  ligaments.  Then 
we  change  a  position  of  a  bone  muscle  or  liga- 
ment to  give  freedom  of  fluids  with  the  purpose, 
first,  to  dissolve  and  carry  away  all  detained 
matter  and  hindering  substances,  that  nature 
can  build  anew  the  depleted  surroundings.  Be- 
ginning with  lymph  and  finishing  with  fibrin 
and  albumin,  nature  prepares  and  bridges  each 
step,  and  never  fails  to  show  success  at  the  end 
of  each  effort.  We  must  know,  if  we  would  suc- 
ceed as  healers,  that  normal  does  not  simply 
mean  to  place  bones  in  a  normal  position,  that 
muscles  and  ligaments  may  play  in  their  allotted 
places  and  can  act  with  freedom  at  all  times. 
But  beyond  all  this  lies  a  still  greater  question 
to  solve,  which  is  how  and  when  to  apply  the 
chemicals  of  life  as  nature  designs  they  shall  be. 
If  life  be  aided  in  the  process  of  renovating  all 
hindrances  to  health,  just  what  power  to  apply 
to  call  forth  lymph,  fibrin,  albumin,  uric  acid, 
muriatic,  or  any  fluid  from  the  great  chemical 


256  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL. 

laboratory  of  man's  machinery,  that  has  within 
itself  all  qualities,  and  never  fails  to  have  some 
in  the  grand  show-up,  when  wisely  called  on  to 
do  so  from  the  outer  skin  to  the  center  of  the 
great  all  of  man  and  life  in  all  nature. 


CHAPTEE   XVII. 

The  Vermiform  Appendix — Operating  for  Appendicitis — Ex- 
pelling Power  of  the  Vermiform  Appendix — Care  Exer 
cised  in  Making  Assertions — The  Human  Machinery — 
Wliich  Best,  God's  Machine  or  Man's? — The  Germ — The 
Astronomer  and  New  Worlds — The  Knife  of  Wisdom — 
The  Law  of  Affinity— The  Heart  of  Man  and  the  Trunk  of 
a  Tree— The  Heart  is  King  of  AH. 

At  the  present  time  more  than  at  any  other 
period  since  the  birth  of  Christ,  the  medical  and 
surgical  world  have  centralized  their  minds  for 
the  purpose  of  relieving  locally  inside,  below  the 
kidney  of  the  male  or  female,  excruciating  pain, 
which  appears  in  both  sexes  in  the  region  above 
described. 

From  some  cause  possibly  justifiable,  it  has 
been  decided  to  open  the  human  body  and  explore 
the  region  just  below  the  right  kidney  in  search 
of  the  cause  of  this  trouble.  Such  explorations 
have  been  made  upon  the  dead  first.  Small 
seeds  and  other  substances  have  been  found  in 
the  vermiform  appendix,  which  is  a  hollow  tube 
over  an  inch  in  length.  These  discoveries,  as 
found  in  the  dead  subject,  have  led  to  explora- 
tions in  the  same  location  in  the  living.  In 
17 


358  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL. 

some  of  the  cases,  though  very  few,  seeds  and 
other  substances  have  been  found  in  the  vermi- 
form appendix,  supposed  to  be  the  cause  of  local 
or  general  inflammation  of  the  appendix.  Some 
have  been  successfully  removed,  and  permanent 
relief  followed  the  operation.  These  explora- 
tions and  successes  in  finding  substances  in  the 
vermiform  appendix,  their  removal,  and  success- 
ful recovery  in  some  cases,  have  led  to  what  may 
properly  be  termed  a  hasty  system  of  diagnosis, 
and  it  has  become  very  prevalent,  and  resorted 
to  by  the  physicians  of  many  schools,  under  the 
impression  that  the  vermiform  appendix  is  of  no 
known  use,  and  that  the  human  being  is  just  as 
well  off  without  it. 

Therefore  it  is  resolved,  that,  as  nothing  posi- 
tive is  known  of  the  trouble  in  the  location  above 
described,  it  is  guessed  that  it  is  a  disease  of  the 
vermiform  appendix.  Therefore  they  etherize 
and  dissect  down  for  the  purpose  of  exploring,  to 
ascertain  if  the  guess  is  right  or  wrong.  In  the 
diagnosis  this  is  a  well-defined  case  of  appendi- 
citis; the  surgeon's  knife  is  driven  through  the 
quivering  flesh  w^ith  great  eagerness  in  search  of 
the  vermiform  appendix.  The  bowels  are  rolled 
over  and  around  in  search  of  the  appendix. 
Sometimes  some  substances  are  found  in  it;  but 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL.  259 

often,  to  the  chagrin  of  the  exploring  physician, 
it  is  found  to  be  in  a  perfectly  healthy  and  natu- 
ral condition,  and  so  seldom  is  it  found  impact 
with  seeds  or  any  substance  whatever  that  as  a 
general  rule  it  is  a  useless  and  dangerous  experi- 
ment. The  per  cent  of  deaths  caused  by  the 
knife  and  ether,  and  the  permanently  crippled, 
will  justify  the  assertion  that  it  would  be  far 
better  for  the  human  race  if  they  lived  and  died 
in  ignorance  of  appendicitis.  A  few  general 
cases  might  die  from  that  cause ;  but  if  the  knife 
were  the  only  known  remedy,  it  were  better  that 
one  should  occasionally  die  than  to  continue  this 
system,  at  least  until  the  world  recognizes  a  re- 
lief which  is  absolutely  safe,  without  the  loss  of 
a  drop  of  blood,  that  has  for  its  foundation  and 
philosophy  a  fact  based  upon  the  longitudinal 
contractile  ability  of  the  appendix  itself,  which 
is  able  to  eject  by  its  natural  forces  any  sub- 
stances that  may  by  an  unnatural  move  be 
forced  into  the  appendix.  To  a  philosopher  such 
questions  as  this  must  arise:  Has  the  appendix 
at  its  entrance  a  sphincter  muscle  similar  in 
action  to  that  of  the  rectum?  Has  it  the  power 
to  contract  and  dilate? — contract  and  shorten  in 
its  length  and  eject  all  substances  when  the 
nerves  are  in  a  normal  condition?     And  where 


260  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL. 

is  the  nerve  that  failed  to  execute  the  expulsion 
of  any  substance  that  may  enter  the  cavity  of 
the  appendix?  Has  God  been  so  forgetful  as  to 
leave  the  appendix  in  such  condition  as  to  receive 
foreign  bodies  without  preparing  ifc  by  contrac- 
tion or  otherwise  to  throw  out  such  substances? 
If  He  has,  He  surely  forgot  part  of  His  work. 
So  reason  has  concluded  for  me,  and  on  that  line 
I  have  proceeded  to  operate  without  pain  or  mis- 
ery to  the  patient,  and  given  permanent  relief  in 
seventy-five  per  cent  of  all  cases  who  have  come 
to  me.  With  the  former  diagnosis  of  doctors 
and  surgeons  that  appendicitis  was  the  malady, 
and  the  choice  of  relief  was  the  knife  or  death, 
or  possibly  both,  many  such  cases  have  come  for 
Osteopathic  treatment,  and  examination  has  re- 
vealed that  in  every  case  there  has  been  previous 
injury  to  some  set  of  spinal  nerves  caused  by 
jars,  strains,  or  falls.  Every  case  of  appendicitis, 
gall  or  renal  stones  can  be  traced  to  some  such 
cause. 

We  should  use  much  caution  in  our  assertions 
that  nature  had  made  its  work  so  complete  in 
animal  forms  and  furnished  them  with  such 
wisely  prepared  principles  that  they  could  pro- 
duce and  administer  remedies  to  suit,  and  not 
leave  the  body  to  find  them.     Should  we  so  con- 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL.  261 

elude  and  find  by  experiments  that  man  is  so  ar- 
ranged, and  wisely  furnished  by  Deity  as  to  fer- 
ret out  disease,  purify  and  keep  the  temple  of 
life  in  ease  and  health,  we  must  use  great  care 
when  we  assert  such  to  be  undeniably  true  up  to 
the  present.  The  opposite  opinion  has  had  full 
sway  for  twenty  centuries  at  least,  and  man  has 
by  habit,  long  usage,  and  ignorance  so  adjusted 
his  mind  to  submit  to  customs  of  the  great  past 
that  he  will  try  to  reason  and  bring  his  mind  to 
such  altitude  of  thought  of  the  greatness  and 
wisdom  of  the  Infinite,  that  he  may  become  in- 
sane or  fall  back  in  a  stupor,  and  exist  only  as  a 
living  mental  blank  in  the  great  ocean  of  life, 
where  beings  dwell  without  minds  to  govern 
their  actions.  It  would  be  a  great  calamity  to 
have  all  the  ftntrained  minds  shocked  so  seri- 
ously as  to  cause  them  to  lose  the  mite  of  reason 
they  now  have,  and  be  sent  back  once  more  to 
dwell  in  Darwin's  protoplasm.  I  tell  you  there 
is  danger,  and  we  must  be  careful  and  show  the 
people  small  stars,  and  but  one  at  a  time,  till  they 
can  begin  to  reason  and  realize  that  God  has  done 
all  that  the  wisest  can  attribute  to  Him. 

If  we  acknowledge  the  intelligence  of  a  God, 
we  have  placed  ourselves  in  a  position  that  we 
are  called  upon  by  all  that  is  great,  good,  and 


262  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL. 

intelligent  to  investigate  all  the  facts  in  the 
works  to  ascertain  if  they  are  worthy  the  belief 
in  an  Omnipotent.  Make  no  assertion  previous 
to  investigation.  If  it  be  the  machinery  of  life, 
justice  would  say  a  careful  and  thorough  investi- 
gation is  unavoidable,  because  we  have  now  on 
trial  the  mechanical  works  of  the  mind  of  the 
Infinite,  and  we  are  oath -bound  to  tell  the  truth, 
and  nothing  but  the  truth.  To  become  qualified 
jurors  in  this  case  we  must  remember  the  ap- 
prenticeship, the  days  of  which  have  been  that 
of  a  constant  worker,  through  all  eternity  to 
date.  And  if  time  and  experience  have  any- 
thing toward  perfection  in  knowledge  and  oper- 
ative skill,  God  has  had  it  all. 

Could  we  afford  to  say,  I  think  for  a  moment 
that  the  God  and  mind  of  all  skill  did  not  know 
and  do  His  work  to  the  full  measure  of  perfec- 
tion? First,  do  you  not  think  His  foundation  is 
not  only  good,  but  very  good?  Beneath  the 
whole  superstructure,  man,  can  you  suggest  a 
change  in  locality  for  the  head,  neck,  spine, 
limbs?  Could  you  add  or  subtract  a  single  bone, 
nerve,  vein,  or  artery  that  you  know  would  be 
any  improvement  on  the  original?  If  not,  can 
you  add  and  get  beneficial  results?  Could  you 
put  machinery  in  there  that  would  make  better 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL.  263 

blood,  or  any  other  fluid  necessary  to  life?  Can 
you  improve  on  the  general  covering  (or  skin)  or 
any  other  part  of  the  body.  With  all  your  wis- 
dom can  you  improve  on  His  hair-making  ma- 
chine? Any  improvement  on  the  secretions? 
lymphatics?  any  organ,  gland,  or  muscle?  Do 
you  not  see  at  once  you  have  not  the  mental 
ability  to  conceive  the  laws  of  construction,  much 
less  the  mental  power  to  conceive  and  construct 
a  complete  machine  and  endow  it  with  the  prin- 
ciples of  mind  and  motion ;  of  the  voluntary,  in- 
voluntary, motor,  sensory,  nutrient,  and  sympa- 
thetic nerve  system.  Have  you  ever  found 
under  the  most  crucial  examination  a  single 
fliaw  as  shown  by  the  most  powerful  microscope? 
Has  chemistry  ever  detected  a  failure  in  the  nor- 
mal process  in  preparing  the  fluids  of  life?  Has 
it  ever  found  imperfection  in  the  fluid  itself  or 
any  part  or  principle  of  the  whole  economy  of 
life?  If  those  fluids  are  different  in  quality  and 
kind,  who  is  warranted  to  come  forward  and  de- 
stroy the  harmonious  process  of  life  by  the  ad- 
dition of  any  noxious  or  innocent  drug? 

With  the  beginning  of  civilization  the  minds 
of  skilled  mechanics  have  never  ceased  for  a  day 
to  think  how  to  formulate  and  beautify  His  gems. 
The  diamond  has  been  cut  in  all  known  forms 


264  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

for  the  purpose  of  receiving  light  in  such  man- 
ner that  by  transposing  and  multiplying  the 
rays  the  stone  will  exhibit  brilliantly  all  seven  of 
the  known  colors,  with  their  modulations  to  give 
beauty,  and  attract  attention  from  the  philos- 
opher to  those  who  live  to  admire  the  beautiful 
only.  The  astronomer's  soul  is  made  to  leap 
with  joy  when  he  sees  all  the  beauties  of  heaven 
which  he  has  sought  and  found  in  unmeasured 
space.  He  sees  the  revolving  satellites,  playing 
around  their  mother  planets,  with  all  their  bril- 
liancy and  activity,  each  one  carrying  the  lighted 
candle  of  the  marriage  feast.  And  with  the  least 
move  of  this  gem,  like  his  telescope,  his  eye 
comes  in  contact  with  new  worlds  dead  and 
alive ;  with  the  comets  dancing  to  the  heavenly 
music,  gracefully  bowing,  and  bidding  adieu  for 
a  longer  or  shorter  period,  at  which  time  they 
will  return  and  partake  of  the  festivities  of  an- 
other dance. 

The  bones  and  teeth  of  animals  have  all  kindly 
received  His  skill  to  give  them  beauty.  We 
should  ever  reverence  and  respect  those  whose 
minds  and  hands  are  active  no  more  for  their 
great  success  in  exhibiting  the  works  of  nature. 

At  this  time  I  wish  to  call  your  attention  to 
another   class  of   thinkers  who  antedate   Abra- 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  265 

ham.  They,  too,  have  formulated  from  crude 
nature  a  greater  gem  than  all  diamonds,  sap- 
phires, rubies,  and  gems  of  all  stones.  This  gem, 
like  all  great  philosophers  of  either  sex,  prefers 
seclusion  to  publicity,  never  coming  on  the  stage 
of  action  save  in  answer  to  demand.  It  com- 
bines beauty,  innocence,  and  death.  When  in 
one  position  it  exhibits  nothing  to  your  mind  but 
death  and  destruction.  But  like  a  kind  reason^r, 
it  is  lovable  in  form  and  beautiful  to  behold.  It 
has  the  power  to  control  its  passions,  and  never 
comes  upon  the  field  of  death  and  destruction 
until  the  last  moment  of  forbearance  is  con- 
sumed. Then  it  comes  forth  and  executes  its 
deadly  mission.  That  it  may  be  a  gem  of  great 
purity  and  usefulness,  the.mineralogist  and  chem- 
ist have  exhausted  their  store  of  knowledge,  and 
passed  over  to  the  skilled  mechanic  this  once 
crude  metal,  known  as  steel,  to  formulate  the 
blades  of  a  knife,  with  its  useful  jaws  to  clamp 
the  blade,  with  spring  to  hold  in  position  when 
shut,  is  the  emblem  of  innocence.  To  hold  them 
open  is  the  token  of  death  or  usefulness.  When 
its  labor  is  done,  and  a  person  sees  it  in  its  folded 
innocence,  he  says.  My  friend.  No  gem  stands 
higher  than  this  one  legacy  given  to  us  by  our 
forefathers,  unless  it   be  the   brains   of  the  Os- 


266  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL. 

teopath,  whose  mind  is  the  knife  to  sever  the 
cords  of  ignorance  which  bind  the  public  to 
drugs. 

When  we  assert  we  are  prepared  to  discuss  the 
ability  of  nature  through  the  arteries  and  nerve 
system  to  construct  the  various  parts  of  the  ma- 
chinery used  in  constructing  the  animal  body  of 
any  kind,  we  assert  a  truth.  We  have  said  that 
we  have  made  ourselves  acquainted  with  all  the 
parts  or  principles  necessary  to  receive  the  living 
forces,  with  ample  room  to  carry  on  the  works 
under  the  fiat  of  Divine  perfection,  as  united  or 
separate  laboratories  in  whose  departments  all 
chemicals  are  prepared  and  proportioned,  as  com- 
ing off  from  the  balance-scales  of  the  Infinite. 
Previous  to  their  association  a  higher  law,  com- 
monly called  affinity,  begins  to  accomplish  its 
unerring  work  of  preparing  the  fluids  and  assign- 
ing their  delivery  to  the  charge  of  each  distribut- 
ing officer,  whose  wisdom  comes  from  the  uni- 
versity of  Deity  Itself  with  that  charge,  "Let 
not  your  right  hand  know  what  your  left  hand 
doeth,"  but  obey  and  follow  the  figures  and  laws 
as  laid  out  upon  the  trestle-board  of  the  grand 
Architect  of  all  forms  and  buildings  wherein  life 
dwells.  We  should  ever  bear  in  mind  that  as 
the  twenty-six  letters  of  the  aljDhabet,  when  prop- 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  267 

erly  placed,  can  be  so  associated  as  to  represent 
all  languages  and  tongues,  thoughts  and  con- 
clusions of  all  the  people,  of  all  the  eternities  of 
the  past,  and  all  to  come,  and  that  in  the  human 
book  of  life  there  are  possibly  twenty-six  thou- 
sand letters  to  be  comprehended  with  all  their 
associations  of  words  or  letters,  which  represent  a 
principle  as  definitely  as  associations  of  any  two 
or  more  letters  of  the  English  alphabet  can  repre- 
sent a  sound  or  name.  Each  of  them  represents 
a  chemical  or  soul  quality  of  a  distinct  division 
of  the  great  laboratory  of  nature.  For  instance, 
take  four  characters,  and  call  together  four  sub- 
stances, and  unite  them  by  the  law  of  blending 
individualized  principles  together,  by  the  law  of 
affinity,  and  form  another  principle  in  com- 
pounds commonly  known  as  acid.  The  addition 
of  one  more  chemical  and  you  have  sugar.  You 
have  by  the  addition  of  the  life  principle  formed 
another  substance  from  a  life  chamber;  you  have 
separated,  dequalified,  and  returned  each  one  to 
the  place  from  whence  it  came,  with  all  the 
qualities  and  the  same  quantity  it  contained 
when  it  left  the  individual  cell,  for  the  pur- 
pose of  making  by  association  the  one  being 
of  which  it  formed  a  part,  which  has  been 
just    separated  and  each  part   returned   to   its 


268  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

place  without  loss  of  weight  or  change  of  prin- 
ciples. 

Let  us  compare  the  heart  of  a  man  to  the 
trunk  of  a  tree.  By  custom,  we  say  the  root  of 
a  tree,  which  conveys  to  the  mind  the  part  that 
is  in  the  ground.  When  we  speak  of  the  heart 
of  a  tree  we  generally  aim  to  express  the  center. 
When  we  open  the  tree  we  find  a  dark  spot 
which  runs  all  through  the  trunk  of  the  tree, 
surrounded  by  many  rings  of  wooden  growth, 
one  of  which  appears  each  year.  As  we  descend 
into  the  earth,  keeping  this  common  center,  we 
are  led  to  a  place  from  whence  all  roots  diverge, 
and  the  tree  with  its  trunk  and  all  its  limbs  as- 
cends from  this  common  center.  Would  not  a 
philosopher  conclude  that  this  is  the  true  heart 
which  sends  forth  its  branches  both  above  and 
below  the  surface  of  the  earth?  If  this  be  the 
heart  of  the  tree,  and  the  root,  limbs,  and  trunk 
are  its  products,  are  we  not  constrained  by  the 
same  law  of  reason  to  attribute  to  the  animal 
heart  the  center  of  life  with  all  the  attributes 
thereunto  belonging?  And  in  comparison  con- 
clude that  all  above  the  heart  are  trunk,  limbs, 
and  fruit,  and  all  below  are  the  roots  and  nutri- 
ent system  of  animal  life,  on  which  root  and 
branch  have  to  depend  for  sustenance.     The  dif- 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL.  269 

ference  between  the  two  is  that  nutrition  is  re- 
ceived at  the  bottom  of  the  tree,  and  carried 
upward  to  all  its  branches,  producing  fruits  of 
all  kinds. 

In  man,  nutrition  is  received  at  the  upper  part 
of  the  body,  and,  like  unto  the  tree,  proceeds  to 
perform  the  duties  of  construction.  When  com- 
pleted he  exhibits  fruits  below  the  heart  or  root 
of  constructiveness  which  is  known  as  the  off- 
spring of  such  beings.  I  have  given  you  two 
beings,  one  vegetable  the  other  animal,  in  order 
to  present  a  comparison  of  results,  although  dif- 
ferent in  form  and  kinds,  believing  the  heart 
of  all  things  to  be  the  immediate  actor  and  cre- 
ator of  all  forms,  without  which  center  of  vital- 
ity no  part  can  be  constructed,  sustained,  and 
kept  in  existence.  Each  branch  must  have  stock 
and  interest  in  this  center,  constantly  receiving 
nourishment,  and  reporting  progress  of  construc- 
tion and  vital  supply,  without  which  failure  is 
absolute  in  all  cases  when  extended  to  all  roots 
and  branches  of  animal  life ;  or  death  is  the  effect 
of  universal  failure,  and  equally  so  with  any 
division  of  the  human  superstructure.  The  har- 
mony of  life  must  come  in  its  fullest,  and  perform 
all  duties  thereunto  belonging  from  the  atoms  of 
the  finest  nerve  to  the  congregated  sum  total  of 


270  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL. 

the  whole  animal  body,  or  death  will  be  the 
result.  Thus  we  are  admonished  to  remember 
that  the  atom  is  the  beginning  and  ending  of 
animal  forms,  and  their  wants  must  be  supplied 
or  construction  ceases  to  control,  and  destruction 
becomes  the  possessor,  with  full  power  to  close  all 
operations  of  life  through  the  atoms,  corpus- 
cles, and  all  other  fluids,  until  the  final  edict  of 
death  is  recorded  in  the  heart,  and  from  there  to 
all  the  limbs  and  trunks  of  all  animals  and  vege- 
tables. The  heart  is  undoubtedly  the  "king  of 
all,  lord  of  all" — the  first  in  command,  the 
last  to  yield.  Its  statements  have  never  been 
questioned.  When  it  moves,  you  know.  When 
it  stops,  you  see  the  end. 


CHAPTER   XVIII. 

Lecture  in  the  College  Hall,  Monday,  January  14th,  1895 — In- 
troduction— God  is  God — The  Osteopath  an  Electrician — 
Diphtheria — Bright's  Disease — An  Illustration — The  Age 
of  Osteopathy — The  Children  of  Life  and  Death. 

GooD-morning ;  I  am  from  Virginia,  and  shall 
introduce  myself  by  saying,  How  are  you?  I 
am  not  very  well  myself,  but  in  spite  of  that  lit- 
tle drawback  will  talk  to  you  for  a  short  time. 
As  I  said,  I'm  from  Virginia,  but  I  came  West  at 
an  early  day,  and  am  practically  a  Western  man. 

My  father  was  a  minister,  in  one  sense  a  mis- 
sionary, and  I've  said  prayers  one-half  mile  long 
(as  long  as  the  longest  chapter  in  the  Bible),  said 
those  prayers  as  I  walked  between  the  plow-han- 
dles that  a  lapse  of  memory  in  that  direction 
might  not  result  in  a  strapping  from  my  father. 
Those  were  the  days  of  small  things.  My  father's 
salary  the  first  year  was  the  munificent  sum  of 
$6,  Think  of  it,  ye  Beechers  and  Talmages, 
with  your  costly  tabernacles  and  your  salaries 
rising  high  in  the  thousands ! 

Our  schools  were  of  a  crude  Western  nature, 


272  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL. 

and  one  paper  to  a  family  was  a  big  thing. 
While  I  was  at  school  in  Tennessee,  the  editor 
of  the  Holston  Journal,  a  paper  in  which  my 
father  was  interested,  came  to  our  house  one 
evening,  bearing  every  appearance  of  a  man 
physically  tired  out,  and  exclaimed : 

"Well,  after  laboring  all  day  we  have  suc- 
ceeded in  getting  out  one  hundred  and  sixty 
papers"  (four  pages  16x20  inches). 

To-day,  such  is  the  rapidity  with  which 
our  great  printing-presses  operate,  that  with 
ease  about  680,000  copies  are  struck  off 
in  a  day.  But  so  accustomed  are  we  to  the 
magnitude  of  the  results  obtained  in  this  day 
that  we  fail  to  appreciate  the  greatness  of  our 
age. 

Nothing  looks  large  to  us  now.  In  the  past  a 
spoonful  of  castor-oil  assumed  enormous  propor- 
tions; to-day  it  does  not,  for  it  is  seldom  seen, 
and  is  in  use  only  among  the  stupid. 

But  I  will  not  assail  the  medical  doctors. 
Some  of  them  have  come  and  placed  themselves 
among  us,  and  when  a  man  sweats  in  agony 
over  a  lost  cause  (even  fears  being  kicked  out  of 
the  lunatic  asylum)  it  would  be  ungenerous  to 
dwell  on  his  defeat. 

Between  you  and  me,  as  far  as  the  lunatic  asy- 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL.  273 

lum  is  concerned,  I  would  as  soon  go  to  a  sau- 
sage mill  as  to  one. 

Homeopathy  has  reduced  the  dose  in  drugs, 
and  in  the  same  ratio  has  allopathy  found  it  pos- 
sible to  get  along  with  less  of  those  deadly 
articles.  Every  step  that  drops  even  one  grain 
of  drugs  develops  mind  that  sees  more  Deity,  and 
less  drugs. 

It  has  been  said  to  me:  "If  you  should  die 
now,  your  children  would  have  much  to  be  proud 
of."  But  I  say,  if  I  die  now,  put  an  extra  shovel 
of  dirt  on  my  grave  for  the  things  I  have  failed 
to  accomplish,  but  if  I  die  in  eighteen  months 
from  now,  cast  off  the  added  amount  for  the  new 
discoveries  I  hope  to  make  in  this  science  by  that 
time. 

This  is  an  informal  school  taught  at  my  re- 
quest for  your  benefit.  If  you  make  one  subject 
complete,  it  will  take  all  your  brains.  This  sub- 
ject is,  Man,  know  thyself;  if  you  do  it  in  five 
years  you  will  do  better  than  I  did  in  thirty-five. 
Years  ago  I  dug  one  skeleton  after  another  out 
of  the  sand-heaps  of  the  Indian  burial  grounds 
and  studied  them  until  I  was  familiar  with  the 
use  and  structure  of  every  bone  in  the  human 
system.     From  this  I  went  on  to  the  study  of 

muscles,  ligaments,  tissues,  arteries,  etc.     It  has 
18 


274  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

been  my  life-work,  and  yet  there  are  things  for 
me  to  learn.  Yon  are  admitted  to  the  school 
now  as  an  accommodation  because  we  did  not 
know  that  this  building  would  be  ready  for  occu- 
pancy at  the  promised  time.  You  see  one  little 
lie  always  calls  for  more  to  cover  it  up. 

Do  not  think  your  payment  of  five  hundred 
dollars  will  make  me  happy ;  such  is  not  the  case. 
I  would  far  rather  have  a  much -needed  rest  than 
all  your  money ;  but  since  you  are  here,  I  will 
teach  you  all  I  can.  You  will  enter  upon  new 
fields  of  learning,  but  do  not  think  for  a  moment 
that  after  your  two  or  three  months  of  class  work 
you  will  be  shoved  into  the  operating  rooms. 
That  is  a  procedure  in  which  I  have  been  bitten. 
Before  entering  the  operating  rooms  you  must 
make  a  grade  of  90,  on  a  scale  of  100,  in  anat- 
omy. To  admit  you  there  sooner  would  be  to 
connive  your  ruin,  to  make  you  marvelous,  to 
send  you  out  in  the  world  to  make  money,  to 
make  you  think  that  Solomon's  head  would  be 
too  small  to  fill  your  hat. 

Motion  begins  in  the  human  foetus  at  about 
four  and  one-half  months  after  conception.  Ac- 
tivity of  the  Osteopath  begins  at  about  the  same 
date. 

After  one  year  in  school,  you  will  arrive  at  the 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL.  275 

stage  where,  without  proper  guidance,  you  are 
likely  to  take  a  hammer  to  a  looking-glass.  At 
the  end  of  eighteen  months,  provided  you  have 
gone  out  into  the  world,  you  reach  the  point 
where  you  are  anxious  to  see  "Pap." 

In  two  years  you  just  learn  that  steam  blows 
up,  but  do  not  know  how  to  control  it. 

It  is  a  privilege  for  you  to  begin  now,  and  not 
my  desire.  Take  heed  that  you  improve  your 
present  opportunity  for  gaining  the  bread  of 
Osteopathic  knowledge  from  headquarters.  You 
may  be  called  on  to  dispense  it  in  Europe,  Asia, 
and  other  distant  points  of  the  globe.  See  to  it 
that  your  supply  is  of  the  right  kind.  An  Osteo- 
path asks  no  favors  of  drugs.  If  you  go  out  to 
your  patient  accompanied  by  a  physician  and 
allow  him  to  suggest  various  medicines,  then  you 
have  disgraced  your  diploma. 

Either  God  is  God,  or  He  is  not.  Osteopathy 
is  God's  law,  and  whoever  can  improve  on  God's 
law  is  superior  to  God  Himself.  Osteopathy 
opens  your  eyes  to  see  and  see  clearly ;  it  covers 
all  phases  of  disease  and  is  the  law  that  keeps 
life  in  motion. 

As  an  electrician  controls  electric  currents,  so 
an  Osteopath  controls  life  currents  and  revives 
suspended  forces. 


276  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL. 

To  turn  on  the  blaze  of  an  incandescent  light, 
would  you  make  a  hypodermic  injection  into  the 
wire?  Would  you  give  a  dose  of  belladonna  or 
apply  cocaine?  A  thousand  times  no,  yet  such 
procedure  would  be  no  more  ridiculous  than 
pouring  those  things  into  man,  who  is  but  a 
machine.  If  you  take  the  course  wisely,  study 
to  understand  bones,  muscles,  ligaments,  nerves, 
blood  supply,  and  everything  pertaining  to  the 
human  engine,  and  if  your  work  be  well  done, 
you  will  have  it  under  perfect  control.  You  will 
find  when  diphtheria  is  raging  and  its  victims 
dying,  at  the  rate  of  one  hundred  and  fourteen 
per  day — as  was  the  case  at  Red  Wing,  where 
my  son  is  located — that  by  playing  along  the 
lines  of  sensation,  motion,  and  nutrition,  if  you 
do  not  play  ignorantly,  you  will  win  the  reward 
due  your  intelligence,  and  lose  not  a  single  case. 
You  will  also  meet  that  terror  to  the  ordinary 
physician — Bright's  disease.  Let  me  make  an 
illustration  along  that  line,  by  comparing  the 
progressions  in  kidney  disease  to  the  different 
stages  of  milk.  Place  milk  in  a  pan,  it  is  simply 
milk  and  represents  the  kidneys  in  natural  work- 
ing order;  leave  the  milk  a  little  longer,  until  it 
is  old,  then  it  corresponds  to  diabetes;  leave  it 
until  it  rots,  and  you  have  Bright's  disease. 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL.  277 

Even  here  you  will  not  experience  defeat,  for 
with  your  accurate  knowledge  of  the  human  ma- 
chinery you  will  not  only  know,  but  meet  all  its 
requirements ;  and  so  it  will  be  all  along  the  line 
of  surgery,  obstetrics,  and  general  diseases.  If 
success  does  not  attend  your  efforts,  it  is  not 
the  fault  of  this  science,  whose  working  is  exact, 
but  of  yourself. 

You  who  make  this  your  life  work  will  go  out 
into  the  world  as  representatives  of  the  only  ex- 
act method  of  healing.  You  will  be  recognized 
as  graduates  of  a  legally  incorporated  school,  and 
will  never  know  the  ridicule,  the  obloquy,  the 
contempt  that  was  heaped  on  myself  when  I  first 
tried  to  make  known  this  beautiful  truth. 

No  preacher  will  pray  for  you,  as  one  possessed 
of  a  devil ;  no  innocent  children  will  fly  from 
your  presence  in  fear  of  one  spoken  of  as  a 
lunatic.  No,  your  fate  will  not  be  my  fate,  for 
my  untiring  efforts  placed  this  science  and  its  ex- 
ponents upon  a  footing  to  command  the  respect 
and  admiration  of  the  world. 

Osteopathy  to-day  in  a  greater  or  less  degree  is 
the  subject  for  discussion  in  all  North  America, 
in  all  English-speaking  nations,  and  all  nations 
that  speak  their  own  tongue  as  intelligent  people. 
When  Europe  thinks  she  has  discovered  a  new 


278  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL. 

remedy  for  disease — say  of  the  lungs,  brain,  or 
any  other  part  of  the  human  body — all  North 
America  knows  it  just  as  quick  as  science  and 
electricity  can  bring  the  news  to  us.  When 
North  America  has  made  a  discovery  the  Euro- 
pean nations  know  all  about  its  merits  because 
we  are  of  their  blood.  To  be  an  Englishman, 
German,  Scotchman,  Frenchman,  or  of  any  other 
educated  nation  is  to  expect  intellectual  progress. 
It  may  be  that  the  whole  masses  are  not  Galileos, 
Washingtons,  nor  Lincolns,  but  now  and  then  a 
Fulton,  a  Clay,  a  Grant,  an  Edison  arises,  or 
some  unchained  mind  moves  against  tradition, 
with  unerring  philosophy. 

It  is  our  fortune  at  this  time  to  raise  our  heads 
above  the  muddy  water  far  enough  to  have  a 
glimpse  of  the  law  that  we  choose  to  call  the 
Divine  law.  That  law  we  use  in  healing.  We 
have  traced  it  by  reason,  by  philosophy,  under 
the  microscope,  in  the  h'ght  and  in  the  dark ;  and 
we  hear  a  response.  That  response  is  so  intelli- 
gent, its  answer  is  so  correct  that  a  man  is  forced 
to  believe  there  is  knowledge  behind  it.  We  have 
houses  much  larger  than  this  all  over  the  civi- 
lized world.  People  congregate  there  every 
seventh  day  in  the  week  for  some  purpose.  Ask 
them  why  they  assemble  there  every  Sabbath, 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL.  279 

and  their  answer  is:  "To  speak  of,  or  give  a 
token  of  respect  to,  the  Creator  of  all  things,  or 
that  intelligence  commonly  known  as  God." 

Now  since  I  have  given  you  the  size  of  Oste- 
opathy at  the  present  day  on  the  globe,  I  will 
give  you  a  contrast.  If  I  am  a  speaker  at  all  I 
want  to  prove  it  by  comparison.  I  want  to  show 
you  just  how  large  Osteopathy  was  in  the  world 
twenty -two  years  ago.  One  man,  who  has  the 
reputation  of  being  the  finest  mechanic  possibly 
in  the  whole  State  of  Missouri,  said  to  me  then : 
"I  wish  you  would  go  and  see  my  wife."  I  went 
with  the  gentleman.  I  felt  very  timid,  because 
I  didn't  know  how  little  sense  he  had,  nor  how 
much.  I  had  seen  a  glimpse  of  what  I  consid- 
ered the  very  candle  of  God  Himself,  lighted  and 
sustained  by  the  oil  of  reason. 

The  speaker  said:  "Now,  Mr.  Harris,  if  you 
will  arise  I  will  show  this  people  just  the  size  of 
Osteopathy  then."  (Mr.  Harris  appeared  on  the 
platform).  If  you  examine  this  man,  and  are 
a  philosopher,  you  will  see  in  him  a  mechanic. 
And  if  you  are  a  doubting  Thomas,  just  take 
your  old  shot-gun  to  him,  and  he  will  put  it  in 
order  and  prove  his  skill.  This  is  the  gentleman 
who  first  said,  "Plant  that  truth  right  here." 
He  was  Osteopathy's  first  advocate  in  Kirksville. 


280  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL. 

I  said,  after  a  long  conversation  with  him  :  "  Mr. 
Harris,  let  me  ask  you  one  question :  Why  is  it, 
in  your  judgment,  that  people  are  so  loth  to  be- 
lieve a  truth?"  He  said:  "Dr.  Still,  in  my 
opinion  a  man  dreads  that  which  he  does  not 
comprehend."  That  was  his  answer  twenty-two 
years  ago,  and  that  is  the  reason  Osteopathy  is 
not  accepted  by  the  masses  and  is  not  adopted  by 
every  man  and  woman  of  intelligence  to-day.  A 
man  dreads  to  give  up  his  old  boots  for  fear  the 
new  ones  will  pinch  his  feet.  We  have  gone 
from  generation  to  generation  imitating  the 
habits  of  our  ancestors. 

I  am  as  independent  as  a  wolf  when  he  knows 
the  dog  got  the  strychnine.  The  reason  why  I 
am  independent  is  that  when  I  see  the  deltoid  or 
any  other  muscle  in  position  and  working  in  con- 
formity to  the  laws,  I  feel  able  through  Oste- 
opathy to  look  at  Saturn  as  a  small  corpuscle  of 
blood  in  the  body  of  the  great  universe.  When 
I  look  at  the  earth,  and  the  moon,  and  take  the 
solar  system,  I  find  that  the  directing  Mind  has 
numbered  every  corpuscle  in  the  solar  system, 
and  each  one  of  them  comes  on  time — no  mis- 
takes. 

Whenever  you  see  a  man  who  is  afraid  of  a 
comet,  you  find  a  man  who  is  ignorant  on  that 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL.  281 

very  point.  Do  you  suppose  God  Himself  is 
going  to  allow  one  of  His  planets  to  get  drunk 
and  butt  its  brains  out  against  this  earth? 
Hasn't  He  counted  the  space  for  every  planet  to 
sail  in  ?  Are  we  following  the  old  Grecian  ideas  of 
two  thousand  years  ago — that  the  sun  is  making 
noodle  soup  out  of  comets  for  supper?  I  want  to 
tell  you  that  I  worship  a  respectable,  intelligent, 
and  mathematical  God.  He  knows  whether  the 
earth  is  going  too  fast  or  not.  He  didn't  ask 
your  papers  to  publish  that  He  had  better  push 
the  earth  a  little  faster  to  let  that  comet  go  by. 
None  of  His  children  disobey,  get  drunk,  or  lose 
their  minds.  I  make  this  assertion  from  the 
confidence  I  have  in  the  absolute  mathematical 
power  of  the  Universal  Architect.  I  have  the 
same  confidence  in  His  exactness  and  ability  to 
make,  arm,  and  equip  the  human  machine  so  it 
will  run  from  the  cradle  to  the  grave.  He 
armed  and  equipped  it  with  everything  necessary 
for  the  whole  journey  of  life  to  a  man  threescore 
and  ten  years. 

The  minister  has  often  said :  "  And  it  pleased 
God  to  take  the  dear  child."  It  didn't  do  any 
such  thing.  It  pleases  God  when  He  makes  the 
child  that  it  dies  in  the  service  for  which  He 
made  him.     When  He  creates  a  man  He  doesn't 


282  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

create  him  to  fertilize  the  ground  while  still  a 
babe.  He  brings  him  into  existence  to  live  on 
and  on,  and  endows  him  with  sense  plentiful 
enough  to  sufiSce  for  all  his  demands,  and  he  is 
expected  to  use  it. 

We  take  up  Osteopathy.  How  old  is  it?  Give 
me  the  age  of  God  and  I  will  give  you  the  age  of 
Osteopathy.  It  is  the  law  of  mind,  matter,  and 
motion. 

When  four  of  my  family  were  attacked  with 
that  dread  disease,  cerebrospinal  meningitis,  I 
called  in  a  number  of  the  most  learned  medical 
doctors  of  the  land,  gave  them  full  power  to  fight 
the  enemy  as  they  chose;  to  use  any  and  every 
means  to  capture  the  enemy's  flag  and  put  him 
to  flight.  When  the  doctors  gave  the  command 
to  "charge,"  I  looked  to  see  the  disease  run  up 
the  white  flag,  but  the  smoke  was  dense,  and  the 
cannons  ceased  to  fire  on  both  sides.  When  the 
smoke  cleared  away,  the  enemy  had  all  our  flags, 
and  all  the  children  captives ;  the  doctors  joined 
the  procession  of  mourners,  and  said :  "  Death  is 
the  rule,  recovery  the  exception." 

At  the  close  of  that  memorable  combat  be- 
tween sickness  and  health,  life  and  death,  I  gave 
the  generals  of  drugs  a  belt  of  my  purest  love. 
If  men  ever  fought  honestly  and  earnestly,  till 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  283 

all  fell  in  the  ditches,  I  believe  they  did.  They 
wept  not  as  Alexander,  who  had  conquered  and 
had  no  more  to  do;  but  they  had  met  an  enemy 
whose  steel  was  far  superior  to  their  own.  With 
me  they  wept,  and  said :  "  We  have  no  steel 
worthy  of  this  or  any  great  or  small  engage- 
ments." 

From  that  hour  until  the  present,  I  have  seen 
the  ability  of  nature  to  do  her  work,  if  we  do  our 
part  in  conformity  with  the  laws  of  life. 

Since  we  stacked  arms  to  the  relentless 
weapons  of  disease,  a  new  thought  has  been  my 
companion  for  years,  by  day  and  night,  and  after 
this  manner :  That  disease  is  the  culmination  of 
effect,  and  its  cause  lies  in  the  choice  of  birth. 
If  to  be  a  child  of  misery,  it  sought  conception 
from  the  womb  of  the  sensory  nerves;  if  to  be  of 
great  stupidity,  its  conception  and  birth  must  be 
of  the  motor  nerves.  The  first  child  is  neuralgia 
of  all  forms,  and  cries  with  pain.  The  second 
child  is  paralysis  of  all  forms ;  it  is  stupidity  and 
death.  To  produce  death  of  either  child,  you 
must  disgorge  the  womb  before  motion  develops 
the  child  to  maturity ;  if  not  it  may  be  a  deadly 
enemy  to  life  and  motion.  All  of  which  you 
diplomats  of  Osteopathy  know  full  well  how  to 
do,  and  give  nature  the  ascendancy. 


CHAPTER   XIX. 

Lecture  of  A.  T.  Still,  at  Infirmary,  January  20,  1895— Why 
He  Invited  the  Colored  People  to  the  Infirmary — Memorial 
Hall — Quinine  and  Fibroid  Tumors — Dover  Powders, 
Calomel  and  Castor  Oil — Not  a  Christian  Scientist — Not  a 
Mesmerist — Oxygen  and  Health — To  Patients — The  Object 
of  Osteopathy — Seventy-five  Per  Cent  of  All  Cases  Bene- 
fited—Fifty Per  Cent  Cured. 

I  HAVE  invited  you  here  because  among  you 
there  are  men  who  helped  to  build  this  house.  I 
wish  more  had  come  to  stand  under  the  shelter 
of  the  roof  they  helped  make.  Doubtless  those 
who  are  absent  had  in  mind  only  the  dollars  to 
be  received  for  their  labor  and  gave  no  thought 
to  the  mission  of  the  building  erected.  This  is 
the  great  Still  house — to  instil  sobriety  instead 
of  drunkenness,  to  instil  principles  instead  of 
guesswork. 

Last  Thursday  dedicatory  exercises  were  held 
in  this  house.  It  was  filled  to  overflowing,  and  a 
larger  regiment  of  people  returned  to  their  homes 
unable  to  gain  admittance  than  I  ever  met  on 
field  of  battle. 

The  room  you  now  occupy  is  Memorial  Hall — 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL.  285 

as  named  in  honor  of  my  son  Fred,  whose  por- 
trait you  see  on  the  wall.  He  was  a  bright,  in- 
telligent boy,  a  boy  known  to  you  all,  one  who 
would  not  wear  a  ring  upon  his  finger,  consider- 
ing the  skin  which  God  had  placed  there  a  rarer 
jewel  than  money  could  purchase. 

He  had  hoped  to  carry  the  banner  of  Oste- 
opathy far  into  the  future,  but  as  the  result  of 
an  accident  his  health  was  impaired  and  he  left 
us  in  answer  to  nature's  summons. 

You  see  these  paintings,  this  flag  of  our  nation 
— a  flag  of  silken  texture  and  expensive  trim- 
mings— these  are  donations  from  friends,  and 
show  the  kindly  feeling  of  the  people  toward  us. 

Since  the  days  of  ^sculapius  the  delusion  has 
flourished  that  man  must  swallow  medicine  to 
rid  himself  of  disease.  The  people  substituted 
their  judgment  for  God's  intelligence,  and  in  so 
doing  created  drunkards  and  lunatics. 

The  great  Inventor  of  the  universe,  by  the 
union  of  mind  and  matter,  has  constructed  the 
most  wonderful  of  all  machines — man — and  Oste- 
opathy demonstrates  fully  that  he  is  capable  of 
running  it  without  the  aid  of  whisky,  opium,  or 
kindred  poisons. 

Since  the  introduction  of  quinine  about  sixty 
years  ago,  fibroid  tumors  have  increased  at  an 


286  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

alarming  rate,  which  would  lead  one  to  believe 
that  this  deadl}'  substance  enters  into  the  system 
and  causes  the  formation  of  an  excrescence  fed 
by  the  blood-vessels.  When  arteries  fail  to  feed 
it  any  longer,  it  begins  to  exude  blood  into  the 
abdomen. 

What  then?  The  medical  world  says  it  must 
be  removed  by  the  surgeon's  knife.  The  result 
is,  a  great  percentage  of  such  cases  die. 

Osteopathy — a  drugless  science — finds  the  ute- 
rogenital  nerves  made  tight  by  the  fastening 
of  certain  segments.  It  proceeds  to  reverse  the 
order  of  things,  starts  the  nerves  into  action, 
which  renovates  or  carries  off  impurities  prepara- 
tory to  reconstruction. 

Take  your  choice  between  the  two:  a  system 
that  produces  tumors  and  one  that  destroys 
them. 

In  the  days  of  slavery,  when  yoa  colored  peo- 
ple had  simple  plantation  remedies  such  as  horse- 
mint-tea,  in  cases  of  sickness  you  recovered. 
Death  was  a  rare  visitor  among  your  race.  Now 
you  play  the  fool  like  your  white  brothers,  take 
strong  medicine  and  die  like  rats. 

Quit  your  pills  and  learn  from  Osteopathy  the 
principle  that  governs  you.  Learn  that  you  are 
a  machine,  your  heart  an  engine,  your  lungs  a 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  287 

fanning  machine  and  a  sieve,  your  brain  with 
its  two  lobes  an  electric  battery. 

When  the  cerebellum  sets  this  dynamo  in  mo- 
tion, oxygen  is  carried  through  the  system  and 
vitalizes  the  blood,  the  abdomen,  the  eye,  and  the 
entire  man.  Nature  put  this  battery  in  you  to 
keep  the  blood  healthy  and  salts  it  with  oxygen. 

You  do  not  use  more  than  an  ounce  of  brain 
for  thought,  the  remainder  is  used  in  vital 
forces.  Use  this  ounce  of  brain  to  free  yourself 
from  the  bondage  of  the  old  medical  laws. 

My  father  was  a  physician,  and  I  followed  in 
his  footsteps  and  was  considered  very  successful 
in  the  treatment  of  cholera,  smallpox,  and  like 
diseases.  When  that  terrible  disease  meningitis 
was  slaying  its  victims  by  the  thousands,  all 
schools  of  medicine  united  in  their  efforts  to  con- 
quer it,  but  without  avail.  It  entered  my  family, 
and  in  spite  of  all  that  medical  skill  could  do, 
death  claimed  four  victims  and  our  home  was 
made  desolate. 

Then  in  my  grief  the  thought  came  to  me  that 
instead  of  asking  God  to  bless  the  means  being 
used,  it  were  far  better  to  search  for  the  right 
means,  knowing  if  they  were  once  found  the  re- 
sult would  be  sure. 

I  began  to  study  man.  and  I  found  no  flaw  in 


288  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

God's  work.  The  Intelligence  of  Deity  is  un- 
questionable ;  His  law  unalterable,  ^n  this  law 
is  the  science  of  Osteopathy  founded,  and  after 
struggling  for  years  under  the  most  adverse  cir- 
cumstances, it  stands  to-day  triumphant.) 

If  I  were  at  present  called  on  to  give  medicine, 
I  would  be  as  much  afraid  of  Dover's  powders 
as  a  darkey  is  of  a  skeleton. 

If  I  should  give  calomel,  I  would  do  it  with 
my  eyes  shut,  and  I  would  want  to  keep  them 
shut  for  nine  days,  so  uncertain  would  I  be  as  to 
results. 

If  because  I  denounce  drugs  you  call  me  a 
Christian  Scientist,  go  home  and  take  half  a 
glass  of  castor  oil  and  purge  yourself  of  such 
notions. 

If  you  consider  me  a  mesmerist,  a  big  dose  of 
pills  may  carry  the  thought  away. 

I  am  simply  trying  to  teach  you  what  you  are; 
to  get  you  to  realize  your  right  to  health,  and 
when  you  see  the  cures  wrought  here,  after  all 
other  means  have  failed,  you  can  but  know  that 
the  foundation  of  my  work  is  laid  on  nature's 
rock. 

What  is  the  nature  of  the  cases  that  come  to 
us?  Do  you  remember  Lazarus?  If  so,  you 
will  remember  that  his  food  was  crumbs,  and 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  289 

well-mumbled  crumbs  at  that.  Well,  we  are 
like  Lazarus  in  that  respect ;  we  get  the  leavings 
of  the  medical  world,  their  incurable  cases. 

We  get  men  whose  stomachs  have  been  tanks 
for  the  receiving  of  acid,  iron,  and  mercury — 
mercury  which  transforms  their  livers  into  cin- 
cabar  and  makes  them  rheumatic  barometers, 
sensitive  to  every  weather  change. 

This  same  mercury  in  certain  forms  is  a  great 
friend  to  the  dentist,  for  when  taken  into  the 
system  it  hunts  for  chalky  substances,  seizes 
upon  the  teeth  and  oftentimes  causes  the  girl  of 
seventeen  to  substitute  china  store  teeth  for 
pearly  white  incisors,  bicuspids,  and  molars,  that 
nature  meant  to  last  a  lifetime. 

I  have  a  pup  at  home,  and  when  he  disobeys 
my  laws  I  apply  a  switch  to  him  as  a  reminder 
of  his  shortcomings.  So  nature  applies  to  you 
the  switch  of  pain  when  her  mandates  are  disre- 
garded, and  when  you  feel  the  smarting  of  the 
switch  do  not  pour  drugs  into  your  stomachs, 
but  f  let  a  skilful  engineer  adjust  your  human 
machine,  so  that  every  part  works  in  accordance 
with  nature's  requirements. 

Think    of    yourself    as    an    electric    battery. 

Electricity  seems  to  have  the  power  to  explode 

or  distribute  oxygen,  from  which  we  receive  the 
19 


290  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

vitalizing  benefits.  When  it  plays  freely  all 
through  your  system,  you  feel  well.  Shut  it  off 
in  one  place  and  congestion  may  result;  in  this 
case  a  m.edical  doctor,  by  dosing  you  with  drugs, 
would  increase  this  congestion  until  it  resulted 
in  decay.  He  is  like  the  Frenchman  who  lets 
his  duck  rot  that  it  may  boil  the  sooner.  Not  so 
with  an  Osteopath.  He  removes  the  obstruction, 
lets  the  life-giving  current  have  full  pla}",  and 
the  man  is  restored  to  health. 

The  one  is  man's  way  and  is  uncertain,  the 
other  is  God's  method  and  is  infallible.  Choose 
this  day  whom  you  will  serve. 

Now  let  us  commence  low  down  and  reason 
up,  for  a  while.  How  many  observing  persons 
ever  saw  a  sick  goose  on  water,  though  the 
water  be  dirty?  If  the  goose  can  get  such  food 
as  is  neccessary  to  sustain  life,  his  doctor,  which 
is  water,  and  the  elements  which  belong  to  his 
species,  will  always  keep  him  well.  A  dead 
goose,  swan,  pelican,  loon,  or  any  aquatic  fowl, 
is  seldom  if  ever  found  dead  on  the  surface  of 
lakes  or  water  resorts,  unless  his  death  comes 
from  violence. 

Our  oldest  pioneers  will  tell  you  that  sickness 
among  hogs  was  unknown  in  the  early  settle- 
ments of  the  country.     The  hogs  were  turned 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  291 

loose  in  nature's  field  to  eat,  drink,  grow,  and 
be  happy.  When  sick  from  overeating  or  any 
other  cause,  they  were  supposed  to  have  sense 
enough  to  go  to  the  creek  or  some  wet  place  and 
plunge  into  it  and  stay  there  until  their  fever  dis- 
appeared, and  they  were  well  again. 

No  hunter's  knife  ever  pierced  the  skin  of  a 
sick  buck,  bear,  wolf,  or  panther,  unless  he  found 
on  removing  his  hide  marks  of  previous  bodily 
injury,  not  of  his  choice. 

We  believe  the  reason  of  this  great  absence 
of  disease  among  animals  and  fowls  of  all  kinds 
was  a  strict  adherence  to  the  laws  under  which 
they  were  placed  by  nature.  When  they  were 
tired  they  would  rest,  when  hungry  they  would 
eat,  and  lived  in  strict  obedience  to  all  the  indi- 
cations of  their  wants. 

We  believe  man  is  no  exception  to  this  rule. 
One  of  the  greatest  reasons  we  believe  can  be 
traced  to  man's  disregard  to  those  great  facts, 
and  on  this  he  does  not  show  as  much  sense  as  a 
goose. 


CHAPTEE  XX. 

Lecture  Delivered  in  Memorial  Hall,  March  12,  1895 — A  Ma- 
ture Woman — What  is  Man  ? — The  Unknowable — Life  Is  a 
Mystery — The  Pace  We  Go — The  Machinery  to  Work 
With. 

Ladies  and  Gentlemen:— I  am  here  to-night 
at  your  request,  to  answer  before  the  court  that 
tries  a  man  and  gives  a  just  decision — where 
each  man  is  a  juror  and  decides  for  himself, 
where  each  lady  sits  as  jurist — whose  conclu- 
sions are  filed  away  for  herself,  family,  and  her 
friends.  A  woman  can  live  an  active  life  for 
forty -five  or  fifty  years.  Then  she  is  looked 
upon  as  a  mature  woman,  from  whom  her  neigh- 
bors seek  counsel.  She  will  go  to  church,  to 
state-houses,  political  and  national  holiday  gath- 
erings for  the  purpose  of  picking  up  a  few 
crumbs  of  knowledge,  to  bring  back  and  impart 
to  her  children,  grandchildren,  her  husband, 
neighbors,  and  friends. 

Allow  me,  in  the  introduction  of  the  suibject  of 
Osteopathy,  to  tell  you  I  am  proud  all  over.  I 
don't  know  why  nature  or  nature's  God  opened 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  293 

one  of  my  eyes  to  see  a  small  corner  of  His  work. 
Over  twenty  years  I  have  stood  in  the  courts  of 
God  as  an  attorney.  I  have  questioned  and 
cross-questioned,  and  directed  my  questions  posi- 
tively on  all  parts  of  this  subject  that  I  desired 
to  investigate.  The  questions  that  I  asked  my- 
self were  about  the  following:  "Have  I  a  mind 
capable  of  comprehending  or  solving  by  my  force 
of  philosophy  the  great  question  '  What  is 
man?'  "  You  remember  that  I  spoke  then  as  a 
man  whose  mouth  would  not  be  closed  through 
fear.  That  question  "What  is  man?"  covers  all 
the  questions  embraced  in  the  universe — all  ques- 
tions, none  left,  "  Who  is  God?"  "  What  is  life?" 
"What  is  death?"  "  What  is  sound?"  "What  is 
love?"  "  What  is  hatred?"  Any  individual  one 
of  these  wonders  can  be  found  in  that  great  com- 
bination, Man.  Is  anything  left?  Nothing, 
Do  you  find  any  principle  in  heaven,  on  earth,  in 
mind,  in  matter  or  motion,  that  is  not  repre- 
sented by  kind  and  quality  in  man's  make-up? 
You  find  the  representation  of  the  planets  of 
heaven  in  man.  You  find  the  action  of  those 
heavenly  bodies  represented  in  yours.  You  find 
in  miniature  mind  controlling  the  power  of  mo- 
tion. You  find  in  reason  that  it  is  the  result  of 
a  conclusion  backed  by  the  ability  known  as  the 


294  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

power  of  knowledge.  And  when  the  machine 
was  constructed  it  was  given  the  power  of  loco- 
motion, self-preservation,  all  the  passions  of  all 
the  beasts  of  the  field,  and  all  the  aspirations  of 
God  Himself  in  kind.  All  these  qualities  you 
find  in  man.  The  same  qualities  you  find  in  a 
more  refined  condition  in  woman,  she  being  the 
sensitive  part  of  the  whole  make-up  of  the  hu- 
man race.  She  is  a  finer  principle  than  man. 
She  is  sensory,  man  motor.  He  is  motor,  she  is 
intellectual. 

Let  me  suggest  that  in  the  human  make-up, 
we  find  the  motor  nerves  driving  the  blood  from 
the  heart  by  the  arteries  throughout  the  body 
to  all  extremities,  and  returning  it  through  the 
veins.  Therefore  when  you  find  in  the  make- 
up of  man  the  motor,  or  the  father  principle, 
you  will  also  find  the  other  or  mother  part,  in 
the  return  of  the  blood  to  the  heart,  where  it 
is  sent  out  again  for  the  battle  of  life. 

I  am  talking  to  you  as  though  you  were  Oste- 
opaths of  many  years'  experience,  and  who,  hav- 
ing placed  your  hand  on  the  side  of  Christ  and 
found  the  scar,  have  no  further  doubts.  I  am 
placed  in  a  rather  embarrassing  position,  and  hesi- 
tate whether  to  throw  a  bombshell  at  you  or  to 
just  simply  fire  a  smaller  ball;  or  like  the  Baptist 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  295 

preacher,  fire  a  shotgun  and  hit  more  places. 
But  you  needn't  look  for  a  howitzer  from  me  to- 
night. 

When  I  looked  up  the  subject  and  tried  to  ac- 
quaint myself  with  the  works  of  God,  or  the  un- 
knowable as  some  call  Him,  Jehovah  as  another 
class  say,  or  as  the  Shawnee  Indian  calls  Him, 
the  great  Illnoywa  Tapamala-qua,  which  signi- 
fies the  life  and  mind  of  the  living  God,  I  wanted 
some  part  that  my  mind  could  comprehend.  I 
began  to  study  what  part  I  should  take  up  first 
to  investigate  the  truths  of  nature,  and  place 
them  down  as  scientific  facts.  Where  will  I  be- 
gin? That  is  the  question.  What  will  I  take? 
How  is  the  best  way?  I  found  that  one  of  my 
hands  was  enough  for  me  all  the  days  of  my  life. 
Take  the  hand  of  a  man,  the  heart,  the  lung,  or 
the  whole  combination,  and  it  runs  to  the  un- 
knowable.    I  wanted  to  be  one  of  the  Knowables. 

The  first  discovery  I  made  was  this:  every 
single  individual  stroke  of  God  came  to  me  as 
the  unknowable.  The  stroke  of  death — what 
do  }"ou  know  about  this?  I  know  nothing, 
therefore  it  is  unknowable.  I  began  to  study 
and  experiment.  By  accident  I  got  started.  I 
removed  growths  from  the  human  neck,  called 
goitre.     The  goitre  disappeared  in  a  few  hours. 


396  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL. 

The  philosophy  to  me  was  doubtful  or  unknow- 
able. A  great  deal  of  it  is  yet.  I  tried  flux.  It 
stopped.  I  thought  I  commanded  it  to  stop.  I 
made  a  certain  move  and  it  stopped  itself,  and 
that  law  is  absolutely  unknowable  to  me  yet.  I 
found  headache.  What  is  headache?  That  was 
also  to  me  unknowable.  I  found  fevers ;  I  found 
the  reverse  of  that.  I  did  not  know  what  it  was. 
I  will  give  you  an  example.  You  take  hold  of 
this  incandescent  light  as  it  now  stands  at  about 
80°,  and  as  I  turn  the  battery  on  you  have  then 
about  160°.  You  turn  it  off  and  it  is  dead.  We 
have  the  motor  principle,  or  the  positive,  coming 
forward  and  bringing  the  elements  necessary  to 
life.  We  will  destroy  that — the  positive — and 
let  the  mother  principle  take  charge  of  it.  What 
does  she  do?  She  clears  up  the  rubbish  in  the 
house  every  morning,  when  the  man  goes  out. 
She  takes  the  dirt  out  in  less  time  than  her  hus- 
band brings  it  in.  So  the  temperature  is  brought 
back  to  its  original  80,  a  change  of  80°.  How 
that  result  is  obtained  leaves  me  again  in  the  un- 
knowables. 

What  is  electricity?  I  don't  know  anything 
about  it.  I  can  only  show  you  what  it  will  do. 
In  the  human  make-up  you  have  one  of  the  most 
absolute   and    thoroughly   constructed   systems, 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T   STILL.  297 

wired  from  the  very  ground  yovp  stand  on  to  the 
top  of  your  head.  Every  department  has  its 
wires  and  telegraph-poles,  and  it  has  millions  of 
them  over  your  body,  each  and  every  one  being 
just  where  they  should  be — one  for  the  heart,  one 
for  the  eye,  one  for  the  quilts  that  cover  the  eye. 
Old  Mother  Nature  says,  "Spread  a  quilt  there," 
and  down  goes  your  eyelid.  There  is  your  quilt. 
You  see  in  there  the  mother  standing.  You  see 
the  philosophy  of  the  father  and  mother  prin- 
ciples of  the  veins  and  arteries,  by  their  actions 
and  results.  When  we  take  up  principles,  we 
get  down  to  nature.  It  is  ever  willing  and  self- 
caring,  self-feeding  and  self-protecting.  One 
would  say:  "What  does  all  this  signify? 
Why  are  you  making  such  a  fuss?  Why  are 
you  talking  about  those  divine  laws?  Are  you 
going  to  baptize  us?  Are  you  going  to  pass 
the  hat  around?" 

We  have  made  a  mistake  and  kept  it  up  for  a 
thousand  years,  according  to  history.  We  have 
tried  to  meet  and  ward  off  effects  which  we  call 
disease  by  the  effect  of  something  we  do  not  com- 
prehend. When  we  are  sick  we  take  poisons, 
and  plenty  of  them ;  the  kind  and  quality  that 
are  deadly  in  their  tendency ;  and  not  only  that, 
but  they  are  durable.     It  is  said  that  a  dose  of 


298  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

sulphur  taken  to-day  is  found  by  analysis  in  the 
body  sixty  days  afterward.  How  long  do  their 
effects  last?  They  may  stay  sixty  or  seventy 
years.  When  I  was  a  boy  I  had  some  poison  put 
in  my  arm,  which  they  called  virus.  How  long 
has  that  been  in  my  body?  It  has  been  there 
through  several  sieges  of  smallpox ;  therefore  the 
effect  is  endless.  When  I  was  about  fourteen 
years  old  I  was  salivated.  I  took  several  doses 
of  calomel.  It  loosened  my  teeth.  To-day  I  am 
using  part  of  a  set  of  store  teeth,  because  I  lived 
in  a  day  and  generation  when  people  had  no 
more  intelligence  than  to  make  cinnabar  of  my 
jaw-bone. 

Most  of  you  are  strangers,  and  a  great  many 
would  like  for  me  to  get  down  to  the  minutiae. 
What  is  your  Osteopathy  good  for?  It  has  proven 
itself  good  to  stop  croup.  In  measles  and  in  flux 
it  never  fails.  When  a  patient  is  dead  we  don't 
treat  him.  Take  it  in  any  reasonable  time,  in 
case  of  flux,  and  it  has  proven  itself  absolutely 
certain.  It  has  not  lost  a  case  of  diphtheria 
when  it  commenced  within  a  few  hours  of  its  be- 
ginning. It  has  never  lost  a  case  of  whooping- 
cough.  Neither  has  it  wrestled  with  it  over 
three  days.  Is  that  of  any  account  to  you  people 
who  sit  up  eight  or  ten  weeks  watching  your 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  299 

children  whoop  and  cough?  It  has  absolute  con- 
trol over  the  nervous  system,  of  the  lungs,  and  if 
there  is  no  pocket  or  cavity  made  in  them,  I  be- 
lieve the  law  is  absolute,  because  it  opens  the 
veins,  carrying  the  refuse  away,  and  the  arteries 
build  it  up  again,  and  your  cough  stops. 

Headache — that  is  very  little  bother  to  you 
people  that  have  it  two  or  three  days  at  a  time. 
Who  but  an  Osteopath  can  tell  you  what  head- 
ache is?  Mr.  Dunglison,  will  you  please  explain 
to  the  people  what  headache  is?  "Headache  is 
a  peculiar  condition,  either  with  cold  or  hot  tem- 
perature of  the  head,  with  an  increased  or  dimin- 
ished flow  of  blood.  I  would  suggest  a  copious 
vomit."  Here  is  your  definition  of  headache  by 
Dunglison.  And  how  much  wiser  are  you  for  it? 
Go  to  an  Osteopath :  "  What  makes  the  brain 
hurt?"  He  will  answer  you :  "  What  makes  a 
pig  squeal,  a  calf  bawl,  a  child  cry  when  it  is 
hungry?"  You  have  a  cold  condition  of  the 
head.  The  cerebral  arteries  are  not  supplying 
the  brain  with  nutriment.  Therefore  it  gets 
very  hungry,  and  miserably  hungry  too.  When 
the  veins  assisted  by  the  motor  nerves,  or  those 
that  convey  blood  in  its  circulation,  become  ob- 
structed, pain  follows,  which  is  the  effect — head- 
ache. 


300  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

Dr.  Sullivan,  you  have  been  a  plumber  for 
many  years;  suppose  you  would  find  at  some 
point  the  water  was  not  conducted  to  the  next 
wash-bowl.  You  would  say  there  was  break  or 
dent  in  the  pipe,  wouldn't  you?  How  would  you 
like  it  if  I  were  to  call  you  up  and  say:  "Sul- 
livan, what  is  the  matter  with  the  pipe?  it  don't 
let  the  water  pass  through.  I  can't  get  any 
water  out  of  it."  Would  you  say,  while  you 
stood  with  the  dignity  of  a  doctor:  "There  is 
something  peculiarly  wrong.  It  is  probably  or- 
ganic disease  of  the  heart.  However,  I  think 
that  an  injection  of  morphine  possibly  would  be 
of  some  benefit."  That  is  about  the  sense  you 
are  answered  with  when  you  pay  your  money  to 
a  doctor  for  advice. 

The  finer  the  plumber,  the  better  he  is  prepared 
to  judge  of  his  business.  So  it  is  with  an  Oste- 
opath. Let  me  ask  you  another  question,  Dr. 
Sullivan:  "Is  not  Osteopathy  a  system  parallel, 
yet  high  above,  but  on  the  same  principle  as  the 
plumber's  work?" 

"Yes,  sir." 

Nature's  God,  in  constructing  that  house, 
proved  Himself  to  be  the  finest  plumber  known 
by  any  person  or  philosopher.  What  do  you 
think  of  it?     Are  the  wires  all  in  place  and  ready 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  301 

to  do  their  duty?  I  know  what  your  answer  will 
be.  You  will  say :  If  you  will  look,  you  will  find 
every  nerve  there;  you  will  find  nerves,  veins, 
and  arteries  between  each  and  every  rib,  between 
each  bone  of  the  back.  You  will  find  that  every 
bone  in  the  human  body  has  a  bump  to  hold  up 
some  muscle.  You  will  find  every  muscle  pro- 
vided with  veins,  arteries,  and  nerves.  You  will 
find  there  cause  for  a  man  to  reason,  that  when 
they  are  in  their  normal  position  a  normal  God 
has  declared  it  is  in  proper  condition  for  health. 

I  have  been  called  a  crank.  Who  cares  for 
such  names  as  that?  I  have  been  called  an  un- 
godly fellow.  Who  cares  for  that?  I  can  give 
you  two  names  where  you  give  me  one.  I  am  a 
long-tongued  Scotchman,  born  with  an  Irish- 
man's mouth,  and  I  think  I  have  something  of 
an  average  eye  for  observation.  I  have  observed 
for  thirty  years  the  workings  of  a  long-protected 
system  of  stupendous,  unpardonable  ignorance, 
criminal  ignorance,  called  allopathy,  home- 
opathy, eclecticism,  all  of  them  using  drugs  with- 
out exception.  Why  are  they  criminal?  When 
I  was  absent  from  home  one  of  my  children  was 
attacked  with  fever.  An  allopath  came  in  with 
medicine.  He  believed  in  tonics,  sedatives,  and 
many  other  little  things.     What  does  the  eclectic 


302  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

do?  He  believes  in  his  purgatives,  his  sweats,  his 
pukes,  and  his  burns;  he  believes  in  his  hypo- 
dermic syringe.  He  uses  it,  and  so  does  the 
homeopath. 

The  allopath  comes  in  and  says :  "  I  believe  in 
both  of  them,  only  a  little  more  heroically.  Be- 
ing the  highest  of  the  trinity  of  experimenters, 
I  want  to  tell  you  that  I  mean  all  of  that,  with 
no  qualifications.     I  mean  it  unreservedly !" 

When  I  came  back  my  twelve-year-old  boy 
was  taking  quinine  and  whisky.     I  asked : 

"What  have  you  in  your  hand?" 

"Oh,  a  little  quinine." 

"  What  is  in  that  bottle?" 

"A  little  whisky;  I  am  going  to  make  a  little 
quinine  whisky." 

How  long  does  it  take  a  boy  to  learn  that 
whisky  tastes  better  without  the  quinine?  Who 
started  that  shower  of  water  from  the  mother's 
eyes?  That  criminal  who  prescribed  that  first 
drink.  I  call  it  criminal  in  any  man.  You  can 
get  drunk  and  call  it  holy  if  you  want  to. 

Here  comes  up  colic.  A  young  fellow  goes  to 
see  his  girl.  He  is  too  lazy  to  make  the  fire  for 
his  mother  to  fill  him  up  once  a  week,  and  he 
goes  out  and  his  Polly  fills  him  up  with  pie  and 
cake.     He  comes  home  with  colic;  goes  to   the 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  303 

pill-doctor,  and  he  pops  the  syringe  into  the 
region  of  the  solar-gastric  nerve; — should  I  have 
said  pneumogastric?  That  makes  him  easy. 
He  fills  up  with  crab-apples  next  time,  and  he 
needs  another  hypodermic.  The  first  thing  you 
know  he  uses  his  own  syringe :  you  see  them  out 
in  San  Francisco,  and  all  over  America. 

"Come  along,  Tom;  let's  go  and  punch  our 
arms." 

They  are  not  going  to  be  worked  in  that  way 
any  more,  and  pay  for  it.  Those  hypodermic 
Syringes  are  almost  as  common  as  grasshoppers 
when  you  go  East  or  West.  What  are  we  tend- 
ing to?  I  saw  some  dogs  fifty  years  ago,  and  I 
never  forgot  them.  They  were  above  a  mill- 
dam,  and  the  water  was  running  very  fast,  and 
their  tails  kept  going  down,  down,  down.  A 
man  said,  "Look  at  those  d — d  dogs."  Well,  I 
thought  if  they  were  not  d — d  they  soon  would 
be,  and  it  was  but  a  second  until  they  were  over 
the  dam,  and  were  dead  dogs.  That  shows  if 
they  try  to  swim  across  the  current  so  close  to 
the  dam,  something  happens  to  the  dogs;  some- 
thing happens  to  your  boy;  something  happens 
to  your  husband. 

An  Osteopath  walks  out  single-handed  and 
alone.     And  what  does  he  place  his  confidence 


304  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

in?  First,  on  his  confidence  in  the  intelhgence 
and  immutability  of  God  Himself.  That  the 
strokes  of  the  smoothing-planes  of  God,  the 
steam  boilers  constructed  by  the  Divine  Being 
and  placed  in  man  here,  when  unobstructed,  act 
in  harmony.  What  is  harmony  but  health?  It 
takes  perfect  harmony  of  every  nerve,  vein,  and 
artery  in  all  parts  of  the  body.  Every  muscle 
that  moves  has  something  to  make  it  go.  In- 
stance, what  is  it  that  constructs  the  heart  that 
pushes  the  blood  to  all  parts  of  the  body  ?  Why, 
an  Osteopath  will  tell  you  it  is  the  work  of  coro^ 
nary  arteries,  which  he  must  know  before  he 
treats  your  heart. 

When  I  look  upon  the  work  of  nature  it 
doesn't  work  for  a  dollar  and  a  half  a  day;  it 
works  for  results  only.  God's  pay  for  labor  and 
time  is  truth,  and  truth  only.  If  it  takes  Him  a 
million  years  to  make  a  stone  as  large  as  a  bean, 
the  time  and  labor  are  freely  given  and  the  work 
honestly  done.  No  persuasion  whatever  will 
cause  that  mechanic  to  swerve  from  the  line  of 
exactness  in  any  case.  Therefore  I  can  trust 
the  principles  that  I  believe  are  found  in  the  hu- 
man body.  I  find  what  is  necessary  for  the 
health,  comfort,  and  happiness  of  man,  the  pas- 
sions, and  all  else.     Nothing  is  needed  but  plain, 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  305 

ordinary  nourishment.  We  find  all  the  ma- 
chinery, qualities,  and  principles  that  the  Divine 
Mind  intended  should  be  in  man.  Therefore,  let 
me  work  with  that  body,  from  the  brain  to  the 
foot.     It  is  all  finished  work,  and  is  trustworthy 

in  all  its  parts. 
20 


CHAPTEE   XXL 

Osteopathy  as  a  Science — I  Got  So  Mad  I  Bawled — The  Triumph 
of  Freedom — Reproached  for  Opposing  the  Teachings  of 
My  Father — Osteopathy  and  Reverence  of  God — The  Teleg- 
raphy of  Life — The  Circulation — Preparing  the  Blood — 
Sickness  Defined — The  Electric  Light  and  Osteopathy — A 
Scholarship  from  the  University  of  Nature — Professor  Pea- 
cock and  a  Lesson  from  His  Tail. 

Ladies  and  Gentlemen: — I  cannot  express 
myself  as  an  orator;  timidity  came  to  me  at 
birth,  or  maybe  it  was  waiting  for  me  a  week  be- 
forehand. It  is  easy  for  me  to  use  such  big 
words  as  "I  will"  or  "I  won't,"  and  I  do  not 
hesitate  to  say  I  will  demonstrate  that  Oste- 
opathy is  a  science.  The  purpose  of  these  meet- 
ings is  to  give  you  an  insight  into  its  meaning. 
The  average  person  can't  tell  whether  it  is  an 
earthquake,  a  cyclone,  or  a  comet.  Even  the 
Governor  *  of  the  great  State  of  Missouri  thinks 
it  a  special  "gift  or  secret."  We  know  it  is  a 
science  founded  on  truth — a  science  which  any 
man  of  average  intelligence,  who  will  studiously 
apply  himself,  can  learn.     It  is  a  science  of  the 

*The  Governor  referred  to  was  Governor  Stone,  who  vetoed 
the  first  Osteopathy  bill. 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  307 

law  which  can  control  fever,  flux,  measles,  and 
diphtheria.  It  never  goes  into  the  line  of  battle 
to  meet  those  foes  under  a  flag  of  truce,  but  de- 
fiantly waves  the  black  flag. 

In  this  work  we  must  depend  upon  the  absolute 
law  of  Deity  for  results.  If  you  object  to  that, 
all  right;  you  may  take  guesswork,  if  you 
choose,  I  will  not  lose  my  hold  on  Deity.  If  you 
want  to  see  the  result  of  guesswork,  look  at  our 
graveyards,  full  of  babies,  little  children,  young 
mothers,  and  men  who  failed  to  reach  the  prime 
of  life.  I  can  tell  you  God  never  meant  to  fer- 
tilize the  earth  in  such  manner.  It  is  the  igno- 
rance of  man  which  produces  such  results. 

I  remember  that  in  the  harvest-fields  out  in 
wind-swept  Kansas,  while  the  men  wore  shirts, 
most  of  them  with  holes  in  them,  one  day  a 
Dutchman  sat  down  against  a  tree  to  rest,  and 
something  crawled  through  one  of  the  holes. 
The  Dutchman  pulled  it  out  of  his  bosom,  ask- 
ing: "  What's  dat?  Will  it  bite?"  About  that 
time  I  found  something  in  my  bosom.  It  was 
Osteopathy.  I  pulled  it  out  into  view  and  asked 
as  the  Dutchman  did  of  the  snake:  "Will  it 
bite?"  The  answer  came:  "No,  I  want  to  give 
to  mothers  the  comforts  due  them.  I  want  to 
give  ease  and  quiet  to  children  so  that  they  can 


308  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

fulfil  the  law  of  nature  and  develop  from  an 
atom  to  a  full-grown  being.  And  in  this  one 
form  5'ou  will  find  all  that  heaven  and  earth 
contain,  fully  represented,  mind,  matter,  and  mo- 
tion, blended  by  the  wisdom  of  Deity. 

My  neighbors  said  of  this  strange  thing  I 
showed  them,  ''Nonsense;  you  are  crazy,"  until 
I  grew  ashamed  to  hold  God's  works  to  view 
even  in  the  freedom-claiming  State  of  Kansas. 
And  when  they  spoke  so  slightly  of  this  science 
which  is  backed  by  God,  like  the  Dutchman 
when  his  wife  died,  "I  got  so  mad  I  bawled." 

The  nineteenth  century  triumphed  over  sla- 
very, but  who  appreciates  true  freedom? — for  it 
appears  there  is  one  wise  man  to  ninety-nine 
fools  among  the  people.  When  I  tried  to  explain 
that  the  brain  acted  as  a  common  battery,  they 
thought  these  secrets  belonged  to  God,  and  re- 
proached me  for  opposing  the  teachings  of  my 
father,  who,  during  his  life,  had  been  a  good 
physician,  using  pills,  purges,  plasters,  and  all 
the  poisons  he  had  been  taught  were  essential  to 
the  curing  of  disease.  He  lived  up  to  the  best 
light  he  had,  but  a  fuller  and  brighter  light  has 
broken  on  us  from  the  intelligence  of  God  much 
better  than  the  old  guesswork,  I  hope  to  give 
all  my  life  to  the  study  of  these  human  engines, 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL,  309 

these  combines  of  mind  and  matter,  and  when- 
ever I  find  a  new  truth  I  shall  trumpet  it  to  the 
world. 

I  want  the  character  of  my  discoveries  to  be 
such  that  when  an  inquirer  asks  whose  writing 
is  upon  the  pages  of  Osteopathy,  the  answer  may 
be.  Truth.  "  They  bear  the  truths  of  the  Archi- 
tect of  the  universe." 

It  has  been  said  to  me:  "Are  you  not  afraid 
of  losing  your  soul  running  after  this  new  idea, 
this  strange  philosophy?" 

I  have  no  fear  that  following  a  law  made  by 
God  will  lead  me  from  Him.  Every  advance 
step  taken  in  Osteopathy  leads  one  to  greater 
veneration  of  the  divine  Ruler  of  the  universe. 

I  do  not  want  to  go  back  to  God  with  less 
knowledge  than  when  I  was  born.  I  want  my 
footprints  to  make  an  impress  on  the  fields  of 
reason.  I  have  no  desire  to  be  a  cat,  which 
walks  so  lightly  that  it  never  creates  a  disturb- 
ance. I  want  my  footprints  to  be  plainly  seen 
by  all  readers.  I  want  to  be  myself,  not  "  them," 
not  "you,"  not  "Washington,"  but  just  myself; 
well  plowed  and  cultivated.  I  expect  to  continue 
searching  into  the  construction  of  this  engine 
where  I  find  so  much  to  interest  me — in  the 
brain  of  man,  with  its  two   lobes,  cerebellum, 


310  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL. 

medulla  oblongata,  spinal  cord,  and  various  sets 
of  nerves,  branching  off,  completing  the  ma- 
chinery which  controls  the  telegraphy  of  life. 

In  the  heart  I  find  chambers  v^here  blood  is 
stored  to  pass  through  the  arteries  of  the  entire 
system,  and  v^hen  done  returns  through  the  veins 
to  the  heart  in  an  impoverished  condition,  to  re- 
ceive nourishment  from  the  chyles  v^hich  pass 
through  the  ducts  to  renew  the  blood. 

Each  vein  has  many  water-buckets.  God  pro- 
vides water-buckets  and  water  for  the  veins. 
The  lymphatics  furnish  water  supplies,  and  thin 
the  Jersey  milk  of  the  chyle,  getting  it  ready 
for  the  pulmonary  arteries. 

Sickness  is  caused  by  the  stopping  of  some 
supply  of  fluid  or  quality  of  life. 

In  case  of  paralysis  you  go  from  one  doctor  to 
another  to  find  one  who  can  throw  the  current  of 
life  on  the  spinal  cord.  He  fails  with  drug 
remedies,  and  finally  you  find  a  man  who  touches 
the  button  and  turns  on  the  light.  So  in  case 
of  diphtheria;  you  want  a  man  that  understands 
the  machinery  of  man.  He  conquers  the  disease 
by  knowing  how  to  apply  the  principles  of  this 
science  along  the  lines  of  sensation,  motion,  and 
nutrition.  He  cures  your  child ;  then  you  are 
happy,  and  give  vent  to  your  joys.     An  Oste- 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  311 

opath  is  taught  that  nature  is  to  be  trusted  to 
the  end. 

The  principle  of  the  electric-light  is  the  same 
as  Osteopathy.  It  has  two  batteries  composed 
of  opposite  chemicals;  bring  them  together  by 
action,  and  an  explosion  of  light  is  produced. 

The  same  principle  shows  how  a  bird  keeps 
warm — its  heart-beats  are  quick.  The  snowbird 
has  about  three  hundred  and  sixty  beats  per 
minute,  while  the  elephant  has  only  about  one 
in  three  minutes,  and  the  whale  still  less. 

Why  is  the  wind-bag  or  lung  placed  in  the 
breast?  Is  it  to  explode  oxygen  and  sustain  life 
and  keep  you  warm?  If  the  machine  is  in  a 
healthy  state,  would  you  narcotize  it  until  the 
battery  cannot  act? 

Oxygen  is  sent  through  the  entire  body  and 
throws  a  bombshell  into  the  camp  of  death.  But 
some  refuse  to  accept  the  new  and  better  way. 
They  want  the  same  old  whisky-and-drug 
course. 

All  right,  no  gun  can  shoot  stronger  than  its 
construction  warrants,  and  they  can  do  no  better. 

People  have  to  be  educated ;  they  are  like  rats 
in  a  trap.  Their  doctor  may  be  a  good  man,  but 
he  is  practically  helpless  under  the  system  he  ad- 
vocates.    He  lets  his  wife  die,  lets  his  child  die, 


312  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL. 

that  he  would  give  worlds  to  save,  dies  himself 
because  he  travels  away  from  God's  school  of 
instruction. 

An  Osteopath  is  only  a  human  engineer,  who 
should  understand  all  the  laws  governing  his 
engme  and  thereby  master  disease. 

When  asthma  comes  and  destroys  life,  the  pul- 
monary nerves  thicken  and  get  stupid,  the  nerves 
lose  control,  and  inharmony  is  the  result.  Turn 
on  vitality  as  God  directs,  and  don't  make  your 
patient  drunk. 

In  case  of  flux,  when  the  bowels  are  on  fire 
with  pain,  an  Osteopath  presses  the  button  of 
ease,  and  in  a  few  minutes  the  agony  is  over  and 
the  child  is  hungry. 

Shame  on  the  knife  that  cuts  a  woman  like  a 
Christmas  hog.  Almost  one-half  the  women  of 
to-day  bear  a  knife-mark,  and  I  tell  you,  God's 
intelligence  is  reproached  by  it. 

An  Osteopath  stands  firm  in  the  belief  that 
God  knew  what  to  arm  the  world  with,  and  fol- 
lows His  principles.  And  he  who  so  far  forgets 
God's  teachings  as  to  use  drugs,  forfeits  the  re- 
spect of  this  school  and  its  teachings. 

God  is  the  Father  of  Osteopathy,  and  I  am  not 
ashamed  of  the  child  of  His  mind. 

I  purchased  a  scholarship  in  the  university  of 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  33  3 

nature,  for  which  I  have  paid  a  very  high  price, 
and  got  my  receipt  in  full. 

I  had  only  heard  of  the  ability  of  the  Presi- 
dent. I  was  told  that  He  possessed  a  great  store 
of  knowledge — in  short,  knew  all  things.  As  a 
skilled  mechanic,  imperfection  in  forms  of  all 
parts  was  a  word  that  He  did  not  comprehend, 
because  His  works  never  possessed  a  flaw  nor 
fault  in  form. 

From  the  construction  of  worlds,  with  their 
laws  of  life  and  motion,  with  any  imperfection  to 
compare  and  see  the  difference,  if  any,  between 
perfection  and  imperfection,  would  it  not  be 
reasonable  to  suppose  that  He  was  not  at  all  ac- 
quainted by  the  comparison  of  His  own  works  of 
the  meaning  of  the  word  imperfection?  With 
this  caution  and  knowledge  given  to  me,  I  have 
entered  the  college. 

I  was  ordered  by  the  dean  of  the  faculty  to  fol- 
low the  sexton,  and  make  the  acquaintance  of  the 
professors  of  all  the  departments  of  this  great 
school  of  learning.  It  was  nine  o'clock  in  the 
morning  when  I  began  to  follow  the  sexton  from 
room  to  room.  I  was  introduced  to  a  most  beau- 
tiful professor  by  the  name  of  Peacock,  which 
signifies  the  skilled  work  and  paintings  of  the  de- 
partments  of   color.      Professor   Peacock   says: 


314  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL. 

"  You  will  go  through  all  other  rooms  in  which 
every  animal,  fish,  and  fowl  occupy  chairs  as  pro- 
fessors. Each  one  of  them  has  a  knowledge  of  the 
minutiae  of  all  forms,  origin,  and  insertion  of 
every  piece  or  principle  belonging  to  his  depart- 
ment. He  begins  and  completes  the  whole  bod}', 
paints,  spots,  stripes,  and  beautifies  to  the  high- 
est desire  of  nature,  from  the  fowls  of  the  air, 
the  fishes  of  the  sea,  the  beasts  of  the  field,  to 
the  crowning  effort  of  God  Himself,  which  is 
given  in  the  form  of  man:  beautiful  in  shape, 
containing  all  the  machinery  in  the  existence  of 
life,  the  attributes  of  God,  mind  and  reason,  so 
harmoniously  blended  that  not  a  flaw  nor  fault 
can  be  found  in  any  room  when  inspected  by  God 
Himself. 

And  when  you  shall  have  received  an  intro- 
duction to  all  the  professors  of  this  great  work 
wherein  form  is  given  and  life  is  put  in  posses- 
sion as  the  indweller  and  commander  of  that 
division  of  life  only,  you  will  comprehend  its 
wonders. 

Then  you  will  report  to  me  at  this  room,  and  I 
will  begin  with  crude  material,  place  your  feet 
on  the  ladder  of  progress,  and  hold  you  there  un- 
til you  reach  the  top  round.  You  will  master 
chemistry,    a    department  in   which    matter   is 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL.  315 

qualified  to  be  put  into  the  hands  of  the  skilled 
mechanics,  who  observe  and  execute  the  duties 
of  giving  form  to  every  piece  found  in  the  con- 
structed beings,  preparatory  to  handing  it  over 
to  the  skilled  painter.  You  should  follow  him 
through  all  rooms  in  which  these  chemicals  of 
color  are  prepared,  to  learn  how  to  apply  and 
paint  according  to  the  specifications  found  as 
written  by  the  hand  and  mind  of  Deity, 

You  must  and  shall  dwell  here  until  you  are 
master  of  all  the  arts  as  indicated  in  my  form 
and  appearance,  as  you  now  see  me. 

I  am  an  open  book  of  nature  that  you  must 
study.      • 

No  partial  knowledge  will  suflBce.  Your 
diploma  must  have  the  seal  of  acceptance  and 
approval  of  the  Architect  who  exacts  perfection 
in  knowledge,  and  prove  it  by  your  work. 

You  must  paint  and  display  on  my  body  all 
known  colors,  spots,  stripes,  and  beautify  as  you 
can  see  and  read,  plainly  written  by  the  hand  of 
the  Architect  just  spoken  of,  or  dwell  here 
through  all  eternity  with  peacocks.  If  God 
stayed  to  finish,  and  did  leave  this  patron  of 
beauty  and  wisdom,  why  do  not  you  learn  all 
about  the  parts  and  principles  herein  found? 

We  see  previous  to  forming  a  feather  in  the 


316  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

peacock's  tail,  a  rounded-up  set  of  muscles, 
veins,  nerves,  and  arteries — preparatory  to  form- 
ing a  being  called  the  feather,  coming  out  of  the 
back  of  any  fowl.  This  preparation  is  large  or 
small  according  to  the  duties  it  has  to  perform. 
It  has  to  form  a  spindle,  v^hich  requires  the 
nerves  of  force  to  push  it  out  of  the  skin  of  the 
bird.  To  all  appearance  it  simply  pushes  out  a 
pencil-like  spindle.  From  the  gland  or  matrix  of 
this  being  in  formation  by  this  process,  soon  this 
spindle  is  out  many  inches  or  less  from  the  body. 
Here  we  begin  to  see  the  formed  end  of  the 
feather  M^ith  all  its  beauties,  in  colors  selected  to 
suit.  As  the  feather  pushes  farther  out  we  see 
a  spot — black,  green,  blue,  or  white.  When  this 
spot  is  formed  as  the  feather  still  extends  from 
the  body,  we  see  another  color  blending  and  beau- 
tifying so  much  of  the  feather,  and  we  see  no 
more  of  the  black  deposited. 

It  is  reasonable  to  suppose  that  the  nerve  that 
furnishes  the  black  color  and  has  ceased  to  keep 
up  the  black  painting  is  broken  off  or  become  dis- 
abled in  some  way,  and  never  throws  out  any 
more  during  the  whole  formation  of  the  feather, 
but  keeps  up  its  beautiful  coloring  of  both  sides 
to  blend  with  and  beautify  the  spot  just  left,  clear 
on  to  the  completion  and  ripening  of  the  feather. 


PROFESSOR  PEACOCK 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  317 

Inside  of  this  chamber  in  which  the  feather  is  at- 
tached to  the  body  we  find  all  this  chemical 
power  to  paint  and  beautify,  and  all  over  the 
whole  body  of  the  bird,  with  like  preparations  to 
complete  shorter  and  longer  feathers,  to  suit  the 
locality  on  which  they  are  situated,  to  the  com- 
pletion of  the  whole  bird — or  any  other  bird,  from 
the  humming-bird  to  the  condor.  I  am  taught 
by  this  that  God  is  the  finest  Chemist  and  Painter 
in  the  universe,  as  is  shown.  We  would  like  to 
learn  a  few  more  lessons  from  His  beautiful 
birds. 


CHAPTER   XXII. 

Address  in  Memorial  Hall,  June  22d,  1895 — All  Patterns  Found 
in  Man — Attributes  of  Deity  Found  in  Man — No  Flaw  in 
the  Construction — Lessgn  from  a  Sawmill — Never  was 
Flux — Abuse  of  Osteopathy — Some  Notes  of  Warning — 
Efforts  to  Seduce  Incompetent  Students  to  Practice — Dan- 
ger from  Incompetents — Danger  of  Going  Out  Too  Soon. 

Ladies  and  Gentlemen: — Twenty-two  years 
ago  to-day  noon  I  was  shot — not  in  the  heart, 
but  in  the  dome  of  reason.  That  dome  was  in  a 
very  poor  condition  to  be  penetrated  by  an  arrow 
charged  with  the  principles  of  philosophy.  Since 
that  eventful  day  I  have  sacredly  remembered 
and  kept  it — not  all  the  time  before  as  intelligent 
nor  as  great  an  audience  as  this.  Part  of  the 
time  I  withdrew  from  the  presence  of  man  to 
meditate  upon  that  event,  upon  that  day,  where- 
in I  saw  by  the  force  of  reason  that  the  word 
"God"  signified  perfection  in  all  things  and  in  all 
places.  I  began  at  that  day  to  carefully  investi 
gate  with  the  microscope  of  mind  to  prove  an  as- 
sertion that  is  often  made  in  your  presence,  that 
the  perfection  of  Deity  can  be  proven  by  His 
works. 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  319 

I  resolved  that  I  would  take  up  the  subject, 
and  ascertain  by  investigation  whether  that  as- 
sertion was  true  or  not;  whether  it  could  be 
proven  as  stated  by  the  gray-headed  sages  of  the 
pulpit,  that  the  works  of  God  would  prove  His 
perfection.  (Not  all  the  roads  that  men  travel 
are  smooth.)  We  never  have  a  positive  but  that 
we  have  a  negative.  I  am  convinced  as  far  as  I 
comprehend,  and  I  cannot  assert  beyond  that, 
that  the  works  of  God  do  prove  His  jDerfection  in 
all  places,  at  all  times,  and  under  all  circum- 
stances. I  drew  a  line  of  debtor  and  creditor. 
On  the  one  side  I  placed  the  works  of  God,  on  the 
other  the  acts  of  man,  who  is  the  handiwork  of 
God,  the  intelligent  association  of  mind,  matter, 
and  spirit,  the  child  of  God,  who  is  the  Author 
and  Builder  of  all  worlds  and  all  things  therein. 
All  patterns  for  the  mechanic  to  imitate  in  all  his 
inventions  are  found  in  man.  You  remember 
that  all  patterns  are  borrowed  from  this  one 
being — be  it  God,  be  it  devil,  or  be  it  man — who 
is  the  originator  of  all  things.  All  patterns  for 
all  things  are  imitations  of  what  is  found  in  the 
constructed  being,  man.  We  see  in  man,  as  we 
comprehend  it,  the  attributes  of  Deity.  We  see 
the  result  of  the  action  of  mind,  therefore  a 
representation  of  the  Mind  of  all  minds.      We 


320  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

find  in  the  solar  system  motion,  without  which 
no  universe  can  exist.  The  very  thought  of 
mind  itself  presupposes  action.  The  motions  of 
all  the  planets  of  the  universe  indicate  and  approve 
action  and  force.  Those  planets  pass  and  repass, 
to  the  hour  and  minute;  pass  before  you  and 
other  globes,  indicating  to  a  man  of  reason  the 
ability  of  the  Mind  to  mathematically  calculate 
the  length  of  every  piece  used  in  the  whole  uni- 
verse, and  to  arm  and  equip  it  with  a  velocity 
that  is  exactl)"  true,  and  that  will  run  to  the 
thousandth  part  of  a  second.  Should  one-quarter 
of  a  second's  time  be  lost  in  the  velocity  of  Jupi- 
ter, what  might  be  the  result?  Increase  the 
electric  force  of  the  whole  system  and  fever  will 
be  the  result  in  the  whole  planetary  and  solar 
system.  If  Jupiter  in  his  rounds  should  lose  one- 
quarter  of  a  second's  time  on  his  circuit,  what 
effect  would  it  have  on  the  whole  planetary  sys- 
tem? You  would  see  such  planets  as  Mercury, 
Venus,  and  the  earth  dancing  a  jig  of  confusion. 
Then  if  we  had  a  medical  doctor  turned  loose 
there,  he  would  give  a  whopping  big  dose  of 
morphine.  Just  on  that  ground  exactly  is 
where  he  is  incompetent  to  comprehend  the  revo- 
lutions and  the  time  exacted  by  the  divine  Moon- 
maker.     We  find  the  same  thing  exactly  in  the 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL.  321 

solar  system  of  man.  Suppose  the  heart  fails  to 
make  its  time.  A  confusion  is  started  by  a  re- 
tention of  the  blood  at  the  base  of  the  brain — per- 
haps the  base  of  the  heart,  or  the  base  of  the 
bowels,  or  the  base  of  the  foot,  or  the  side  or  top 
of  any  division  of  the  body — and  you  ma)"  expect 
until  Jupiter  takes  his  regular  time,  gets  in  line 
with  that  star,  you  will  have  to  go  to  the  Hot 
Springs  to  get  warmed  up. 

A  great  many  of  you  have  come  here  to-night, 
and  what  for?  A  very  few  have  come  here  to 
see  what  nonsense  is  going  on.  Between  j^our 
eyes  there  are  too  many  miles  of  reason  to  call 
any  mathematical  fact  a  humbug.  Some  heads 
are  not  governed  with  the  milestones  of  reason. 
You  must  not  be  too  hard  upon  those  whose  eyes 
take  in  so  little  of  a  mile;  but  allow  them  the 
privilege  of  calling  you  a  philosopher  or  a  fool, 
because  to  them  one  is  just  as  well  understood  as 
the  other. 

My  grandmother  was  a  Dutchwoman.  She 
told  me  she  believed  in  signs,  by  which  she  regu- 
lated the  setting  of  hens,  killing  chickens,  and 
butchering  hogs.  When  you  see  one  of  those 
little  heads  that  know  it  all,  with  a  little  book 
under  his  arm,  an  almanac  or  something  of  the 

sort,  claiming  in  a  week  or  ten  days  to  be  a  great 
21 


322  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL. 

Osteopath,  remember  what  I  tell  you:  That  child 
was  weaned  when  the  sign  was  in  the  feet ;  thus 
he. wants  to  trot.  The  next  place  the  sign  was 
in  the  abdomen,  and  his  aspirations  are  to  eat, 
and  he  is  ready  to  go  into  the  world  and  make  a 
boast  that  he  is  an  Osteopath,  and  that  he  com- 
prehends all  of  the  science,  and  more  too.  He  is 
ready  to  go  before  the  world,  and  with  false 
statements  lie  just  enough  to  get  more  money 
than  he  can  get  by  straightforward,  honest  deal- 
ing before  his  fellow-men.  We  have  such  births 
here,  having  worked  at  dentistry,  selling  drugs, 
or  other  vocations,  and  developed  in  a  few  days 
ready  to  go  out  into  the  world  and  raise  his  flag 
of  "Osteopathy." 

Twenty-two  years  ago  I  took  up  the  matter 
solemnly  and  seriously.  Since  that  time  I  have 
not  lost  a  wakeful  hour  without  my  mind  being 
engaged  with  the  construction  of  man,  to  see  if 
I  could  detect  one  single  flaw  or  defect  in  it — • 
either  under  the  microscope,  or  with  the  anato- 
mist's knife,  or  the  rules  of  philosophy  of  my  own 
or  the  minds  of  others.  I  have  never  yet  been 
able  to  detect  the  least  shadow  of  confusion. 
The  Jupiter  of  life  is  absolutely  and  m.athemati- 
cally  correct.  My  investigation  has  been  for  the 
honest  purpose  of  ascertaining  whether,  when  the 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL.  323 

great  God  of  the  universe  constructed  man, 
there  was  one  single  defect  in  His  work  that  has 
been  detected  by  all  the  combined  intelligence  of 
the  sons  and  daughters  of  man  from  the  birth  of 
man  to  the  present  time.  I  had  to  give  the 
wholesale  credit  mark,  and  make  the  vote  unani- 
mous for  God,  and  if  you  cannot  make  it  unani- 
mous, do  as  some  of  the  Republicans  did  in  St. 
Louis:  a  few  of  you  go  out.  If  you  can't  swal- 
low it,  go  out  and  stay  out. 

Why  did  I  become  interested  in  this  great 
question  of  the  intelligence  of  God?  His  ability 
to  give  us  the  seasons,  cold  and  hot,  wet  and 
dry,  the  different  kinds  of  fowls  and  animals,  the 
fish  of  the  seas  and  running  waters?  The  reason 
why  I  investigated  this  was:  I  believed  that 
man  was  wofully  and  wonderfully  benighted, 
from  the  fact  that  when  he  was  sick  he  guessed 
what  was  the  matter,  and  guessed  he  would  go 
for  a  doctor.  Then  guessing  commenced  in 
earnest.  The  doctor  guessed  what  was  the 
matter ;  he  guessed  what  he  would  give  him ;  he 
guessed  when  to  return ;  guessed  that  he  would 
get  well,  or  guessed  he  would  die.  He  entered 
the  grand  chamber  of  guessing  then  and  there, 
and  when  the  last  breath  was  drawn  the  guess- 
work was  not  through  with  until  the  preacher 


324  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

guessed  where  he  would  go.  I  said  to  myself 
that  God  knew  more  than  I  did,  and  more  than 
Mr.  Mikael,  or  Dick  Roberts,  or  all  the  men  I 
could  think  of;  more  than  General  Jackson 
or  Jeff  Davis,  Abe  Lincoln,  or  even  Horace 
Greeley.  I  concluded  that  if  He  did  know  all 
things,  He  has  certainly  placed  that  machinery 
on  the  track  of  life,  armed  and  equipped,  with 
boilers  full,  plenty  of  oil,  and  all  the  bearings  of 
the  running-gear  of  the  whole  engine  in  good 
condition.  I  began  to  look  at  man.  What  did 
I  find?  I  found  myself  in  the  presence  of  an 
engine — the  greatest  engine  that  mind  could  con- 
ceive of.  Having  spent  seven  or  eight  years 
with  a  stationary  engine,  acquainting  myself  with 
all  its  parts  from  boiler  to  saw,  I  began  to  inves- 
tigate man  as  an  engine.  In  running  my  saw  I 
found  that,  if  I  squeezed  it,  the  blade  would 
wobble.  I  found  that  hum  was  gone,  having 
passed  to  a  warbling  sound.  It  was  hardly  a 
warble,  because  when  a  saw  gets  hot  and  begins 
to  wobble  the  pressure  is  very  light,  and  it  wobbles 
just  before  it  warbles.  I  discovered  that  the 
harmonious  hum  of  the  saw  was  produced 
when  it  was  running  exactly  as  it  should,  keep- 
ing  line.  I  found  the  same  wobbling  in  man, 
and  it  was  that  which  drew  my  attention,  so  that 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  325 

I  inquired  what  was  the  matter  with  the  saw  of 
Hfe.  It  was  out  of  line,  and  the  friction  against 
the  timber  produced  the  heat  and  what  they  call 
buckling.  It  wobbled  to  one  side  like  a  blubber 
under  a  pancake.  That  wobble  will  spoil  your 
saw  and  stop  its  work.  How  many  blubbers  did 
I  find  in  the  human  engine?  I  found  the  blubber 
of  erysipelas,  of  flux,  of  diphtheria.  It  is  the 
bursting  of  the  bubble  by  the  wobbling  saw 
which  indicates  the  saw  of  life  is  out  of  line  and 
the  carriage  off  the  track.  I  defy  the  oldest 
sages  of  philosophy  to  show  me  the  difference 
between  flux  and  no  flux;  to  show  me  the  time 
when  flux  was  not  there.  He  must  take  the 
number  of  hours  in  which  this  milk  soured  and 
began  to  curdle.  It  first  commenced  its  changing 
process  at  a  stationary  condition,  under  a  suitable 
temperature.  The  milk  sours  in  a  common 
pan,  just  as  the  blood  would  sour  in  the  pans  of 
the  bowels  or  the  mesentery  arteries,  veins,  or 
muscles.  Therefore  you  have  simply  an  effect, 
and  you  call  that  a  particular  disease :  it  is  effect 
only.  Ninety -nine  times  out  of  one  hundred  that 
same  machine  has  a  wobbling  saw;  it  has  left 
the  line ;  it  is  not  tracking  on  the  course  of  life 
as  by  nature  given,  and  things  are  not  harmo- 
nious. 


326  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

Why  should  I  prosecute  this  for  years?  Be- 
cause I  could  count  as  much  as  an  old  mathe- 
matician in  simple  addition  at  least.  I  could 
make  a  mark  for  Tom  Smith,  died  under  the 
doctor's  treatment;  and  Jim  Smith,  also  dead, 
and  John  Henry  Smith,  likewise  dead.  However, 
I  omitted  to  say  that  the  father  and  mother  were 
both  dead  of  flux.  I  began  to  see,  during  the 
Civil  War,  in  that  part  of  the  States  of  Missouri 
and  Kansas  where  the  doctors  were  shut  out,  the 
children  did  not  die.  I  began  to  reason  as  to 
why  it  was  so.  Our  ministers  say  the  birds  are 
provided  for,  and  I  just  thought  if  God  took  care 
of  them  He  took  care  of  those  children  too. 
There  is  the  same  ability  there  to  sustain  them 
through  the  summer  and  winter.  Nature  has 
provided  for  a  great  many  emergencies.  When 
a  mule  has  worked  all  day,  and  the  muscles  of  his 
spine  are  pulled  out  like  a  shoestring,  what  does 
he  do?  He  finds  a  good  place  to  roll,  kicks  up 
his  heels,  kicks  another  mule  or  two,  and  has 
gone  through  his  Osteopath  manipulation.  He 
shows  a  little  sense.  An  old  hen  when  she  gets 
what  you  call  microbes  in  her  feathers,  does 
what?  She  gets  out  her  microscope  and  looks 
through,  and  concludes  they  are  microbes;  then 
she  hunts  up  a  dust-heap,  and  leaves  them  there. 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL.  327 

Watch  the  hog.  He  knows  more  than  his 
master;  when  he  gets  the  fever  he  goes  into  the 
mud  and  stays  there  until  the  fever  leaves. 
Some  years  ago  a  man  had  the  cholera,  and  his 
friends  concluded  they  would  help  the  old  man 
cover  himself  up  in  the  sand  and  let  him  die. 
They  went  off  up  the  river  and  left  him,  and  the 
next  morning  he  was  with  them  and  ready  for  his 
breakfast.  They  left  him  to  die,  but  he  got  well. 
I  have  a  very  kindly  feeling  for  this  day.  On 
the  22d  day  of  June,  1874,  at  ten  o'clock, 
was  the  first  time  I  ever  saw  the  gravy  of 
liberty,  and  I  have  been  sopping  my  bread  in 
it  ever  since,  and,  like  eating  olives,  it  was  a 
little  difficult  at  first,  but  now  they  all  want 
olives.  The  whole  of  North  America  is  begin- 
ning to  say:  "I  will  take  some  olives,  if  you 
please."  The  Irishman  took  some,  but  said: 
"Begobs,  who  spoiled  the  plums?"  Our  stu- 
dents, our  early  diplomats  who  have  gone  out 
from  here,  have  withstood  the  howitzers  in  every 
engagement,  and  come  out  victorious.  That 
poor  little  Ammerman,  who  is  about  as  big  as  a 
little  piece  of  chewing-gum  after  the  Sunday  ser- 
vices are  over,  went  down  into  Kentucky,  and 
swung  a  little  Osteopathic  flag  to  the  breeze 
there.      They  brought   the   laws  of  that  great 


328  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  SILL. 

State  to  bear  upon  the  little  banty  of  less  than  a 
year's  experience.  His  works  followed  him  into 
the  court,  and  the  grand  jury  of  the  great  State 
of  Kentucky  says  "Not  guilty." 

One  of  nay  poor,  feeble-minded  sons,  who  has 
been  a  follower  of  mine,  went  up  to  Minnesota. 
He  was  arrested;  for  what?  For  not  seeing 
diphtheria  where  there  was  none.  There  is  a 
law  there  that  quarantines  against  diphtheria, 
measles,  scarlet  fever,  etc.  Well,  my  boy  is  just 
like  his  father ;  he  knows  so  little  that  he  is  not 
afraid  of  it.  He  has  more  grit  than  brains,  I 
suppose.  I  was  told  by  Senator  Nelson,  of  that 
State,  that  he  went  into  twenty-eight  houses  in 
one  day,  and  the  next  day  took  down  all  of  those 
cardboards. 


KEEP    OUT' 

BY  OEDER  OF 

THE  STATE  BOAED  OF  HEALTH. 
CONTAGIOUS  DIPHTHERIA. 

It  looked  as  if  there  were  dressmakers  in  every 
house  until  you  took  a  closer  observation.     They 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  329 

were  put  up  by  order  of  the  state  board  of  health 
or  state  board  of  ignorance,  to  keep  the  people 
from  spreading  diphtheria.  There  were  hun- 
dreds of  them  in  that  little  town  of  Eed  Wing. 
Senator  Nelson  said  he  went  into  those  houses 
with  my  son  Charles  (who  is  a  diplomat  of  Oste- 
opathy). The  children's  tongues  were  sticking 
out  of  their  mouths,  their  throats  were  red ;  but 
he  said  Charles  never  lost  a  case.  He  also  told 
me,  previous  to  that  time  one  hundred  and  four- 
teen children  died  in  that  vicinity  with  diphtheria 
in  one  day,  but  that  Osteopathy  did  not  lose  a 
single  case  during  that  winter.  And  for  saving 
the  lives  of  those  children  my  son  was  arrested 
and  brought  before  the  court.  What  was  the 
result?  The  fathers  and  mothers  came  out  bj'' 
the  hundreds,  and  the  prosecuting  doctors  and 
attorneys  concluded  to  "git."  Those  Swedes  and 
Norwegians  said  if  Still  was  found  guilty  they 
would  hang  the  doctors.  The  people  declared 
that  from  center  to  circumference  of  Minnesota, 
Osteopathy  should  live.  They  also  came  over 
from  Wisconsin  en  masse  with  their  firearms  to 
set  at  liberty  that  boy  the  very  instant  he  was 
put  in  jail  for  violating  the  laws  by  saving  chil- 
dren's lives.  They  declared  that  the  people  were 
the  law,  and  the  statute  the  tool.     The  statute  is 


330  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL. 

a  moDey-making  provision,  and  when  the  people 
arise  they  are  the  law  of  the  country.  In  Louis- 
ville, Kentucky,  the  people  are  the  law;  in  the 
State  of  Missouri  the  people  are  the  law ;  also  in 
Kansas ;  and  in  many  parts  of  the  United  States. 
Americans  will  not  have  their  liberties  abridged. 
Neither  are  they  going  to  take  the  doctor  of  their 
choice  through  the  kitchen  any  more. 

Twenty-two  years  ago  I  had  to  crawl  in 
through  the  kitchen  to  see  a  child  that  had  the 
croup.  The  child's  uncle,  John  Tibbs,  of  Macon 
city,  sent  me  a  telegram  to  come  and  see  his 
brother's  child,  that  was  dying  with  croup. 
They  had  had  a  consultation  of  five  or  six  doc- 
tors, who  decided  the  child  could  not  live.  One 
of  them  was  a  good  old  English  doctor  who  got 
drunk  occasionally,  and  he  said  the  child  would 
soon  be  in  the  "harms  of  the  Great  Hi  Ham." 
The  child's  uncle  and  Mr.  McCaw  met  me  at  the 
depot,  took  me  to  the  house,  and  succeeded  in 
taking  me  through  the  kitchen;  wouldn't  let  me 
go  in  through  the  front  way  for  fear  we  would 
meet  some  of  the  doctors  coming  out.  In  five 
minutes'  time  the  child  began  to  breathe  easy 
and  play  about  the  house.  Since  that  time  there 
has  been  an  Osteopathic  home  at  that  place. 
Since  that  time  Osteopathy  has  become  known 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  331 

throughout  the  whole  State,  and  the  intelligent 
man  has  confidence  in  it.  The  philosopher  also 
has  confidence  in  its  ability  to  cure.  The  fathers 
and  mothers  call  in  the  Osteopaths  and  pay  for 
their  service  now. 

One  objection  to  Osteopathy  is  that  it  may 
make  thieves  and  scoundrels.  Some  men  come 
here  for  a  little  while  and  go  away  and  say,  "I 
have  been  in  Kirksville;  I  am  an  Osteopath," 
and  so  on.  They  steal  from  the  people  wherever 
they  can  until  found  out.  They  are  drunken 
scoundrels,  the  very  trash  of  your  town.  So  far 
it  is  dangerous.  The  medical  doctors  have  said 
it  was  dangerous,  because  with  a  few  cures  in  a 
neighborhood,  Osteopathy  is  liable  to  become  the 
grandest  system  of  robbery  in  the  world.  Men 
will  stand  up  and  curse  this  science  to  the  very 
last,  and  then  get  on  the  train,  go  off  three  or 
four  hundred  miles,  and  say  they  are  from  the 
city  of  Jerusalem,  commonly  called  Kirksville; 
th-at  they  are  right  from  the  rivers  of  life,  and 
thoroughly  understand  this  science.  They  are 
men  who  never  did  anything  but  curse  it  as  the 
lowest  conception  of  foolishness  and  ignorance. 
Another  dangerous  point  I  want  you  to  guard 
against  is,  that  as  soon  as  our  students  begin  to 
know   a   little   something  of    Osteopathy,  some 


332  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

one  will  come  and  offer  to  pay  their  expenses  to 
foreign  parts  if  they  will  go.  They  propose  to  pay 
them  well  if  they  will  go  and  practise  Oste- 
opathy, when  they  are  no  more  fit  than  a  donkey 
is  to  go  in  a  jewelry-shop.  Men  come  and  ask  me 
what  to  do  for  sore  throat,  and  so  on,  and  say  they 
will  pay  so  much  for  it.  They  tell  our  young  stu- 
dents that  they  have  plenty  of  money,  and  will 
pay  their  expenses  and  two  hundred  dollars  a 
month  if  they  will  go  with  them.  This  is  a  great 
temptation  to  a  young  man  who  has  not  had 
fifteen  cents  with  which  to  buy  his  girl  chew- 
ing-gum. Some  of  them  know  of  their  condi- 
tion, and  hang  round  among  the  patients  and 
strangers,  and  make  them  tempting  offers,  say- 
ing: "Don't  you  go  to  the  old  doctor;  he  is  jeal- 
ous of  us. "  They  keep  this  up  until  they  are  off 
with  him,  and  away  they  go,  like  any  other  de- 
ceivers. 

Having  followed  this  science  for  twenty-two 
years,  I  am  fully  convinced  that  the  God  of  na- 
ture has  done  His  work  completely,  I  am  satis- 
fied that  a  revolution  stands  before  you  to-day — 
a  healing  revolution,  a  revolution  in  the  human 
mind  that  will  result  in  the  study  of  anatomy 
in  our  district  schools  and  colleges.  It  is  one  of 
the  most   important  studies  for  all  the  schools. 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  333 

When  I  commenced  this  study  I  took  the  human 
bones  and  handled  them  week  in  and  week  out, 
month  in  and  month  out,  and  never  laid  them 
down  while  I  was  awake  for  twelve  months. 
There  is  a  great  danger  to  the  student  of  Oste- 
opathy, that  he  may  conclude  he  ought  to  be  out 
as  quick  as  some  hostler  or  some  fellow  that  has 
been  round  here  for  a  little  while,  and  is  out 
stealing  from  the  people  to-day.  You  ask  when 
you  come  here  how  long  it  takes  a  man  to  become 
competent  to  go  into  a  community  and  with- 
stand the  howitzers  that  will  be  thrown  at 
him.  We  tell  you,  from  long  experience  in  this 
science,  that  it  will  require  twice  twelve  months. 
I  can  take  you  up  as  a  herd  of  sheep,  comb  you 
and  grease  you,  and  send  you  out  in  the  market, 
and  the  best  judge  can't  tell  whether  you  are 
good  or  bad  sheep ;  but  I  will  not  do  it.  You  ask 
me  for  truth,  I  will  give  it  you.  If  you  send 
your  son  or  daughter  here,  you  do  not  want 
them  to  go  out  incompetent. 

A  number  of  those  who  have  been  with  us  a 
year  go  out,  and  some  do  some  good.  Previous 
to  the  time  we  got  our  institution  so  we  could 
handle  it,  we  did  the  best  we  could:  just  like 
the  preacher's  wife  who  borrowed  cloth  to  patch 
her  husband's  shirt — she  did  the  best  she  could; 


334  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

and  she  stayed  home  because  she  had  no  shoes, 
which  was  the  best  she  could  do.  We  have 
reached  the  time  now  that  we  can  do  better. 

Two  years  ago,  when  I  commenced  this  build- 
ing, fifty  by  ninety  feet  hall,  ten  rooms,  etc.,  the 
people  said :  "  What  is  that  old  fool  doing  down 
there,  putting  up  a  house  of  that  size  ?  He  is 
crazy."  Do  you  know  the  condition  that  fellow 
is  in  now  ?  He  finds  that  he  needs  another  build- 
ing forty  by  sixty  feet  and  ten  more  rooms  in 
order  to  accommodate  the  people.  Do  you  see 
how  the  work  has  grown?  One  person  speaks  to 
another,  and  another,  and  reports  what  is  being 
done.  That  is  all  the  advertising  we  have  had. 
We  print  our  journal  to  answer  your  questions 
concerning  the  science. 

For  twenty-two  years  I  have  been  looking  at 
the  parts  of  the  human  engine,  and  I  find  it  is  a 
most  wonderfully  constructed  engine,  with  the 
intelligence  of  mind  and  the  spirit  of  God  from 
the  crown  of  the  head  to  the  soles  of  the  feet.  I 
believe  that  is  God's  medical  drug-store,  and  that 
all  cures  of  nature  are  in  the  body. 

If  I  were  to  take  up  this  subject  and  discuss  it 
as  a  philosophy,  no  one  hot  night  would  be  suflS- 
cient  for  an  introduction  to  it.  I  do  not  think 
I  could    tell  it  in  six  months  or  six  years.     It 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL.  335 

is  as  inexhaustible  as  the  works  of  the  whole 
universe. 

If  I  live  twelve  months  longer  I  expect  to  rev- 
erently respect  the  twenty-second  day  of  June, 
1897,  the  anniversary  of  Osteopathy. 


CHAPTER   XXIII. 

Address  at  Memorial  Hall,  June  4th,  1896 — Debtor  and  Creditor 
— Intermittent  Fever — Danger  of  Depopulation — A  Doc- 
tor's Prescription  for  Fever — Electrical  Machine  in  the 
Brain — Injury  to  Spinal  Cord  Paralysis — Effects  of  Medi- 
cine— What  an  Osteopath  Must  Know — The  Seriousness  of 
Studying  Osteopathy — Courses  of  Study — Definition  of 
Flux — Spread  of  Osteopathy — Style  of  Cases — Specific 
Cases. 

I  HAVE  examined  the  encyclopedias  and  his- 
tories, but  have  never  found  anything  in  them 
about  Osteopathy.  Twenty-two  years  ago  this 
month  I  realized  for  the  first  time  that  the  word 
"God"  meant  perfection  in  every  particular. 
Previous  to  that  I  thought  He  was  imperfection, 
all  but  a  little,  and  that  the  imperfection  could 
be  filled  out  by  drugs.  I  saw  that  ignorance  and 
drugs  were  contradictory  to  every  principle  of 
philosophy  as  a  healing  principle,  the  so-called 
science  of  medicine  being  a  principle  without  a 
foundation.  I  then  commenced  to  see  how  I 
would  go  about  it.  What  is  your  subject? 
what  are  you  talking  and  thinking  about?  I 
am  thinking  about  that  intelligently  construct- 
ed, self-adjusting,  self-firing,  and  self-propelling 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  337 

machine  called  the  human  engine.  That  is  what 
I  am  talking  about,  what  I  am  trying  with  my 
ability  to  reason  about.  I  commence  and  say 
on  the  debtor  side :  "  You  are  a  failure,  so  far  as 
fever  is  concerned,  because  a  majority  vote  has 
said,  "You  are  a  failure,  0  Lord!"  Don't  get 
excited,  any  of  you  people,  because  I  say  this.  I 
will  call  a  witness  which  is  a  very  strong  one  to 
prove  it.  When  a  man  is  burning  up  with  fever 
the  actions  of  the  people  say  of  God : 

"You  are  a  failure,  and  we  must  give  him 
quinine,  lobelia,  hypodermic  syringe,  and  all 
such."  The  cuts  and  the  "trys"  and  the  drugs 
of  all  Africa  are  brought  to  put  that  fire  out. 
Here  is  a  burning  process  going  on.  This  man 
has  been  out  in  the  rain;  reaction  sets  up,  his 
temperature  rises,  it  continues,  and  you  call  it 
fever.  It  stops  a  while,  and  then  comes  on  again. 
What  do  you  call  that?  Intermittent  fever. 
After  a  while  it  continues  without  intermis- 
sion; we  have  then  fixed  and  established  fever. 
"  Now,  Lord,  there  is  your  machine,  get  him  out 
if  you  can.  If  you  cannot,  down  goes  an  ipecac, 
and  there  is  a  failure  put  against  you.  Your 
character  as  an  inventor  is  at  stake  before  the 
intellectual  and  thinking  world." 

And  God  says  to  the  philosopher:  "Examine 
22 


338  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL. 

and  see  if  you  don't  find  a  button  there  that  can 
govern  cold  and  heat?"  We  all  agree  that  heat 
is  electricity  in  motion :  the  greater  the  velocity 
the  higher  the  temperature.  When  we  examine, 
if  we  find  in  the  make-up  of  this  machine,  which 
is  offered  to  ^'^ou  as  a  machine  of  perfection,  that 
it  has  the  power  within  itself  to  create  heat,  and 
not  the  power  to  destroy  it,  you  have  found  an 
imperfection  in  the  machine,  which  proves  an 
imperfection  in  the  Maker,  The  man  who  uses 
drugs  and  hypodermic  syringe  says  you  do  not 
know  your  business.  Take  some  of  these  things 
home  with  you.  This  is  the  first  school  which 
ever  raised  the  flag  on  the  globe,  as  far  as  his- 
tory says,  that  God  is  Truth,  and  this  can  be 
proven.  I  can  take  His  works  and  prove  His 
perfection ;  and  he  who  takes  his  good  old  whisky 
and  drugs,  and  says  God  is  Perfection,  is  a  liar. 
He  who  has  lung  fever,  pneumonia,  flux,  or  any 
fever,  and  drinks  his  whisky,  denies  the  whole 
idea  of  the  perfection  of  God.  He  slaps  it  in  the 
face,  and  not  only  that,  but  in  effect  says,  God 
is  a  failure. 

I  have  been  called  a  fanatic.  Why?  Because 
I  have  asserted  that  the  divine  mind  had  plenty 
of  intelligence  and  a  great  deal  to  spare ;  and  you 
have  been  taking  some  of  it  in  to  make  a  prac- 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL.  339 

tical  and  sensible  use  of  it  for  yourself  and  fami- 
lies. Without  that  confidence  in  the  powers 
found  in  that  machine,  what  will  your  old  earth 
be  doing?  She  will  be  courting  the  moon  that 
revolves  around  it,  without  a  living  human  soul 
on  it,  in  a  few  thousand  years.  Our  digitalis, 
our  whisky,  our  opium,  and  other  foolish  things 
that  are  called  remedies,  are  fast  driving  from 
the  face  of  the  earth  the  human  family.  Two 
hundred  and  eighty  thousand  morphine  sots  in 
the  city  of  New  York  ten  years  ago.  Chloral 
hydrates  world  without  end.  Nearly  seventy 
thousand  have  had  their  arms  punched  by 
Keeley  to  knock  out  —  what?  The  whisky 
habit. 

Dr.  Smith,  I  wish  you  would  come  up  here. 
This  is  Dr.  Smith,  our  professor  in  anatomy  and 
physiology.  I  want  to  know  if  you  do  not  be- 
lieve, from  your  own  observation,  that  the  so- 
called  science  of  medicine,  with  its  stimulants 
and  its  other  poisons,  is  doing  more  harm  than 
good? 

"Undoubtedly." 

She  is  filling  the  insane  asylums,  loading  the 
gallows,  and  supplying  the  Keeley  Institutes  with 
their  thousands  annually.  That  is  what  your 
school  is  doinsr. 


340  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

Dr.  Smith:  "I  am  not  of  that  school  now, 
doctor;  I  am  of  your  school." 

Where  does  this  thing  start?  A  man  goes 
down  to  the  creek  after  some  fish,  and  somebody 
tells  him  to  take  a  jug  of  whisky  along  for  fear 
he  might  get  wet. 

He  catches  a  few  catfish.  He  hasn't  many  of 
them,  but  is  going  to  make  it  up  on  that  whisky. 
After  a  while  he  has  what  we  call  fever.  The 
doctor  says :  "  You  need  a  dose  of  calomel ;  how- 
ever, I  would  suggest  that  you  follow  it  up  with 
a  few  sharp  doses  of  quinine,  and  it  would  not 
be  amiss  to  take  a  little  whisky."  That  is  our 
medical  science.  The  result  is  drunkenness,  in- 
sanity, death,  showers  of  tears  from  families  en- 
titled to  that  man's  intelligent  services. 

Eealizing  our  condition,  I  set  about  to  learn 
whether  the  God  of  the  whole  universe  had  been 
foolish  enough  to  construct  a  machine  and  throw 
it  into  space  without  rudders  or  brakes  to  stop  it 
when  going  downhill,  or  without  any  claws  to 
hold  it  when  it  goes  up ;  or  without  any  remedy 
placed  in  that  machine  called  "perfection."  The 
Book  says,  "And  the  Lord  said,  Let  us  make 
man."  I  suppose  there  must  have  been  a  coun- 
cil, and  it  must  have  been  a  mighty  poor  council 
which  made  a  man  that  wouldn't  work. 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  341 

Let  US  examine  man,  and  the  Maker  of  man, 
and  see  if  we  can  find  where  He  made  a  failure ; 
and  until  that  is  done  keep  your  ipecac,  with  its 
music,  in  your  pocket. 

Some  people  think  Osteopathy  is  a  system  of 
massage,  others  that  it  is  a  "faith  cure."  I 
have  no  "faith"  myself,  I  only  want  the  truth  to 
stand  on.  Another  class  think  it  is  a  kind  of 
magnetic  pow-wow.  It  is  none  of  these,  but  is 
based  upon  a  scientific  principle.  If  these  elec- 
tric lights  are  based  upon  a  scientific  principle,  it 
must  be  borrowed  capital.  From  what  machine 
was  it  borrowed?  I  think  we  can  find  that  the 
first  thought  in  regard  to  that  machine  came 
from  looking  over  the  human  brain,  finding 
there  two  lobes  containing  sensation  and  motion. 
That  when  those  two  lobes  were  brought  together 
we  found  the  positive  and  negative  parts  of  elec- 
tricity. On  that  principle  Dr.  Morse  began  his 
researches  and  gave  us  the  first  principle  of 
telegraphy.  Other  eminent  electricians  have 
followed  up  the  same  thought.  They  have  also 
discovered  that  the  batteries  supplying  the  elec- 
tricity must  be  of  opposite  elements.  They  must 
be  brought  together,  the  parts  contained  in  the 
opposing  poles.  Where  does  the  electrician  get 
these   principles?      They    are   suggested   by   the 


342  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

human  brain  with  its  two  lobes.  He  finds  the 
electricity  conducted  throughout  the  whole  sys- 
tem. If  the  spinal  cord  is  destroyed,  motion 
comes  to  a  standstill.  Now,  suppose  we  would 
call  these  lights  in  the  center  of  the  room  the 
spinal  cord.  By  turning  off  the  lights,  we  repre- 
sent to  a  reasoning  man  a  stroke  of  paralysis. 
An  Osteopath  who  is  not  too  anxious  to  go  out 
before  he  knows  anything,  suggests  a  principle, 
a  reason,  a  foundation  on  which  to  build.  I  will 
demonstrate  to  you  that  the  spinal  cord  supplies 
all  other  parts.  It  is  that  which  supplies  life  to 
the  whole  machine. 

(Demonstrations,  with  electric  lights.  Lights 
in  the  center  turned  off.) 

While  these  lights  are  off,  suppose  you  try  to 
make  them  burn  by  digging  around  the  corner 
of  the  house,  pouring  things  into  the  chimneys 
or  any  other  available  place.  Would  that  help 
matters?  Would  an  intelligent  electrician  that 
knew  the  A  B  C's  of  his  business  expect  to  re- 
new the  lights  by  any  such  process?  If  I  had  a 
son,  and  he  was  thirty-five  years  old,  and  didn't 
know  more  than  that  in  adjusting  the  human 
engine,  I  would  have  a  guardian  appointed  for 
him,  and  tell  him  to  use  the  hypodermic  syringe 
on  both  sides  of  his  head.     There  is  only  one 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL.  343 

principle  by  which  that  paralysis  can  be  cured, 
and  that  is  to  open  up  from  the  battery  the  elec- 
tric wires  on  which  it  will  travel,  which  are  now 
obstructed.  An  Osteopath  says  he  can  do  that, 
and  there  it  is.     (Lights  turned  on.) 

Where  is  the  philosopher  who  will  stand  up 
and  show  so  little  sense  at  this  age  of  electricity 
as  to  come  in  here  and  say  this  is  the  most  stu- 
pendous humbug  on  the  face  of  the  earth?  The 
right  hand  of  God  of  the  universe  is  with  us,  and 
we  are  sending  the  light  more  and  more  over  the 
world.  I  expect  when  I  am  gone  that  I  will 
come  back  every  week  or  so  to  see  what  Oste- 
opathy is  doing.  I  want  to  see  if  it  is  run  off  of 
the  face  of  the  earth.  In  the  earlier  ages  the 
people  didn't  know  anything  of  medicine,  and  they 
lived  a  long  time.  The  less  they  knew  of  it,  the 
more  good  food  they  ate  and  the  longer  they 
lived. 

Our  work  here  is  to  overcome  the  effects  of 
medicine.  Nine-tenths  of  the  cases  that  come 
here,  while  they  are  wrenched  and  strained  in 
many  places  in  the  body,  have  to  be  treated  first 
by  turning  on  the  nerves  of  the  excretory  organs 
of  the  system,  for  the  purpose  of  cleaning  up  the 
dirty  house  in  which  we  find  the  human  soul 
dwelling.     What  do  we  find?     We  find  the  liver 


344  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL. 

not  acting  properly,  we  find  some  lung  affected, 
we  find  stones  in  the  gall-bladder.  We  go  a 
little  farther  down  to  the  renal  nerves,  veins, 
and  arteries,  to  those  of  the  kidneys.  They  are 
out  of  order.  We  go  down  to  the  water-bladder, 
and  there  find  some  specimens.  Specimens  of 
what?  Of  the  thoughtless  stupidity  of  man, 
who,  by  taking  medicine,  has  converted  the  liver 
into  a  bank  of  cinnabar.  A  few  doses  of  calomel, 
and  out  go  the  teeth.  Any  person  in  the  audi- 
ence has  the  privilege  of  raising  his  hand  and 
saying  I  am  wrong,  if  I  state  anything  that  is 
not  correct.  I  am  fighting  for  God,  and  am 
going  to  hit  them  square  in  the  face.  While  I 
am  here  I  expect  to  tell  the  straight,  unvarnished 
truth.  In  order  for  a  man  to  comprehend,  he 
must  do  something.  The  patient  can  compre- 
hend he  has  something  to  do,  to  know  whether 
he  has  the  backache  or  not.  He  can  comprehend 
enough  to  know  he  has  the  backache  one  hour, 
and  next  he  does  not  have  it,  which  knowledge 
makes  him  happy.  An  Osteopath  must  know 
the  shape  and  position  of  every  bone  in  the  body, 
as  well  as  that  part  to  which  every  ligament  and 
muscle  is  attached.  He  must  know  the  blood 
and  the  nerve  supply.  He  must  comprehend  the 
human  system  as  an  anatomist,  and  also  from  a 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL.  345 

physiological  standpoint.  He  must  understand 
the  form  of  the  body  and  the  workings  of  it. 
That  is  a  short  way  to  tell  what  an  Osteopath 
must  know.  Of  course  you  can  have  a  little 
knowledge  of  Osteopathy  and  do  some  things, 
but  not  know  how  it  is  done.  Before  you  can  go 
out  in  the  world  and  fight  the  fight,  you  must 
master  human  anatomy  and  physical  laws.  Dr. 
Smith  has  been  teaching  anatomy  for  four  years, 
and  if  he  were  out  half  a  mile  from  here  I  would 
say  that  his  qualifications  are  surpassed  by  noth- 
ing I  have  met  with  in  my  travels  over  America. 
He  can  tell  you  anything  you  want  to  know 
about  anatomy  or  physiology,  and  give  you  the 
authority  for  it.  He  has  stuck  to  it;  and  he 
knows  it.  It  is  not  because  he  is  smarter  than 
other  men,  but  he  has  stuck  to  it  until  he  knows 
the  construction  of  the  human  machine  and  its 
workings.  I  do  not  believe  any  man  knows  all 
about  it;  there  is  plenty  for  any  one  to  learn.  If 
a  man  comes  here  to  take  a  course  in  this  science, 
it  is  a  serious  matter  unless  ho  is  a  trickster,  and 
comes  here  with  the  intention  of  getting  a  little 
knowledge  and  then  skipping  out  to  fool  a  lot  of 
people.  But  if  he  means  to  stand  by  it  and  get 
all  the  good  there  is  in  it,  it  is  a  serious  matter, 
and  should  be  considered  as  seriously  as  the  sub- 


346  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL. 

ject  of  picking  out  a  girl  for  a  wife,  or  as  seri- 
ously as  he  would  say  his  prayers  if  he  were  go- 
ing to  be  hung.  If  he  goes  at  it  in  this  way  he 
will  not  go  ^r  until  he  learns  there  are  ten 
thousand  chambers  in  the  human  body  that  have 
never  been  intelligently  explored.  He  can  jump 
over  a  great  deal  if  he  wants  to.  A  man  can 
learn  his  A  B  C's  and  the  winding  up  of  the 
Greek  verb.  He  has  jumped.  Just  so  in  study- 
ing anatomy  a  man  can  jump;  and  when  he 
comes  out  here,  and  tells  you  that  he  thoroughly 
understands  all  of  this  science  of  Osteopathy, 
even  a  respectable  quantity,  in  less  than  two 
years,  he  jumps  a  little. 

We  have  been  placed  in  a  peculiar  position.  So 
many  people  are  suffering,  and  there  is  nothing 
at  home  but  drugs  and  blisters,  and  they  are 
begging  for  our  juveniles.  They  will  make  them 
enticing  offers,  and  ask  us  to  let  them  go.  Pre- 
vious to  the  commencement  of  this  class  we  tried 
to  accommodate  the  people  as  best  we  could.  But 
I  tell  you  the  philosopher  is  born  after  twenty- 
four  months;  no  nine  months'  gestation  will 
give  you  an  Osteopath.  It  must  be  after  a  ges- 
tation of  two  years,  and  then  they  are  only  be- 
ginners. Even  here,  where,  as  Professor  Blitz,  of 
London,   England,  says,  we   have     the   greatest 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL.  347 

clinical  advantages  on  the  face  of  the  earth,  the 
greatest  facilities  for  comprehending  anatomy — 
even  though  that  is  the  case  at  the  end  of  two 
years,  our  very  best  and  most  competent  operators 
would  like  for  me  to  carry  the  load,  as  the  young 
man  who  gives  dad  the  heaviest  end  of  the  log, 
because  the  skin  on  his  shoulder  is  tough. 

We  control  all  of  the  fevers  of  this  or  any 
other  climate,  all  of  the  contagious  diseases, 
such  as  mumps,  chicken-pox,  scarlet  fever, 
measles,  diphtheria,  or  whooping-cough ;  also 
flux,  constipation,  diseases  of  the  kidneys  and 
of  the  spine.  We  deal  with  the  brain,  the  liver, 
lungs,  and  the  heart.  In  short,  every  division 
of  the  whole  human  body,  with  all  its  parts. 

I  can  take  a  young  m^n  in  here  for  a  little 
while  and  make  an  imitator  of  him,  and  send 
him  out  so  he  can  handle  diphtheria  or  croup 
in  seven  cases  out  of  ten;  and  he  can  handle 
some  headaches.  What  is  the  condition?  He  is 
like  my  polly.  "Polly  wants  a  cracker,"  and 
don't  know  what  he  is  saying  or  doing.  You 
ask  him  where  the  glosso-pharyngeal  nerve  is, 
and  he  will  say  he  don't  remember;  he  will  look 
in  his  book  for  it.  We  want  you  to  thoroughly 
understand  anatomy  so  that  it  will  come  to  you 
as  quick  as  "oitc/ies/"  to  a  Dutchman's  mouth 


348  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

when  he  gets  his  fiDger  hurt.  It  ought  to  be 
second  nature.  It  should  be  as  indelibly  fixed 
as  passing  the  hat  is  on  the  minister's  mind,  a 
duty  not  to  be  omitted  before  he  closes. 

Since  the  school  was  incorporated  we  have 
established  such  rules  as  we  think  necet^sary  to 
the  attainment  of  a  thorough  knowledge  of 
anatomy.  First,  you  have  anatomy,  and  that 
is  a  great  book.  After  you  have  mastered  it 
you  take  physiology,  which  is  just  twice  as 
much  as  anatomy.  Then  we  have  what  we 
call  symptomatology.  We  take  up  the  differ- 
ent symptoms  or  a  combination  of  symptoms. 
One  indicates  toothache,  another  something 
else.  Suppose  there  has  been  a  stoppage  of 
blood  supply  of  the  stomach,  what  is  the  result? 
What  we  call  cancer.  Another  symptom  would 
indicate  pneumonia.  What  is  pneumonia?  You 
take  an  Osteopath  that  knows  his  business  thor- 
oughly, and  he  can  give  you  the  diagnosis  and 
never  use  a  single  term  of  the  old  schools.  Take 
scrofula,  consumption,  eczema,  every  one  of 
them.  There  is  a  broken  current,  an  unfriendly 
relation  existing  between  the  capillaries  of  the 
veins  and  arteries. 

What  is  flux?  An  abortive  effort  of  the  ar- 
tery to  feed  the  vein.     The  vein  contracts  and 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL.  349 

the  artery  spills  the  blood  at  the  nearest  place, 
passes  through  the  bowels,  and  death  results. 
The  doctor  gives  his  quinine,  kino,  his  gourd- 
seed  tea,  and  other  poisons,  and  adds  his  mus- 
tard-plasters. The  child  dies.  It  is  a  Baptist 
child,  and  they  bring  it  to  Brother  Morgan,  and 
he  says :  "  Whereas,  it  pleased  God  to  take  that 
child." 

I  don't  believe  Brother  Morgan  would  say 
that.  He  would  say:  "I  believe  this  death  is 
through  the  ignorance  of  the  doctor ;  that  child 
should  have  lived  and  worked,  as  that  was  the 
will  of  God." 

I  came  here  to-night  to  tell  you  that  the 
science  of  Osteopathy,  as  little  as  is  known  of 
it  now,  bids  fair  in  a  very  few  years  to  penetrate 
the  minds  of  the  philosophers  of  the  whole  earth, 
whether  they  speak  English  or  not.  To  day  it 
is  known  not  only  by  the  English  nations  of  the 
world,  but  it  is  known  in  Germany,  it  is  known 
in  France.  Possibly  not  so  well  known  as  the 
cyclone  in  St.  Louis,  but,  like  that  cyclone,  com- 
mencing there  and  working  all  over  the  country, 
this  cyclone  will  show  itself  in  the  legislatures 
inside  of  a  very  few  years.  Intelligent  men, 
competent  to  investigate  a  science,  and  honest 
enough  to  tell  the  truth  when  they  have  inves- 


350  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL. 

tigated,  cannot  fail  to  see  the  results  of  Oste- 
opathy. They  see  Osteopathy  coming  home  with 
the  scalps  of  measles,  mumps,  flux,  diphtheria, 
scarlet  fever,  whooping-cough,  and  croup  under 
its  arm.  The  philosopher  has  discovered  that 
nature  has  the  ability  to  construct  a  machine 
that  is  trustworthy  under  all  climates.  Here  is 
a  man  living  at  New  Orleans.  It  does  not  take 
much  for  him  to  breathe  down  there ;  he  breathes 
once  in  a  while  and  gets  along  all  right.  He 
goes  farther  north  and  finds  himself  at  72  °  or 
73°  north  latitude.  What  does  he  find?  He 
breathes  faster,  his  lungs  are  stronger,  and  the 
heart  dispenses  a  larger  quantity  of  electricity. 
That  throws  the  electric  current  much  faster, 
and  it  keeps  him  warmer  in  the  colder  weather. 
Pick  the  man  up  and  drop  him  in  New  Orleans, 
and  you  would  have  to  put  him  in  water  to  keep 
him  cool.  He  would  be  warmer  because  his 
lungs  are  increasing  the  action  of  electricity.  I 
picked  up  a  chicken  to-day  that  had  not  a  feather 
on  its  back.  (It  was  just  ready  for  the  preacher.) 
What  was  the  motion  of  that  chicken's  heart? 
It  must  have  been  180,  maybe  280.  Why  was 
the  heart  running  at  such  a  velocity  as  that? 
To  keep  that  chicken  warm  until  the  feathers 
came    out.      At    every    stroke    of    the    Master 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL.  351 

Architect  of  the  universe,  you  will  see  the  proof 
of  intelligence,  and  His  work  is  absolute. 

I  wish  to  speak  of  the  ability  of  our  operators 
to  judge  as  to  your  case.  They  have  studied 
anatomy  and  physiology  to  completion;  then 
they  were  placed  in  the  operating-rooms,  after 
having  passed  through  the  training  in  the  clin- 
ics. They  are  skilled  operators,  and  know  by  ex- 
perience when  they  are  turning  a  button  or  on 
off,  and  have  handled  fifteen  or  twenty  thousand 
cases,  about  the  number  of  patients  who  visit 
here  annually.  If  there  is  anything  one  of  them 
does  not  comprehend,  it  goes  direct  to  the  next 
one  above;  and  if  they  all  get  puzzled,  they  come 
and  ask  me,  and  I  go  to  guessing.  When  you 
come  here,  go  in  there  and  call  out  an  investiga- 
tion before  the  operators,  and  talk  to  them  as 
though  you  considered  they  had  some  intelli- 
gence and  some  sense,  and  don't  stand  there 
and  say  you  want  the  "old  doctor."  The  old 
doctor  is  not  going  to  do  this  work  if  you  pick 
up  and  go  home.  When  a  man  has  worked  and 
built  up  a  science  like  this,  and  has  spent  twenty 
years  in  doing  it,  if  he  has  failed  to  impart  that 
knowledge  he  should  quit.  I  have  men  here 
who  know  their  business,  and  I  simply  ask  you 
to  treat  them  with  respect  until  they  shall  have 


352  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL. 

examined  your  case.  Once  in  a  while  there  is 
a  ver}'  dangerous  case,  where  a  person  is  be- 
tween life  and  death,  and  they  come  to  me  about 
it,  and  I  look  at  it.  I  can't  set  every  toe,  elbow, 
or  joint  of  the  twenty  thousand  who  annually 
come  here.  When  you  are  talking  to  a  grad- 
uate of  this  school,  you  are  talking  to  a  man 
who  knows  a  great  deal  about  the  body,  and  his 
conclusions  are  correct.  There  are  some  who 
think  they  know  more  about  our  business  after 
they  have  been  in  the  house  five  minutes  than 
those  who  have  been  here  five  years.  I  am 
within  a  few  days  of  sixty-eight,  and  I  shall  put 
in  the  rest  of  my  days  preaching  here.  I  am 
glad  to  meet  you  on  the  street  and  have  a  friend- 
ly chat,  but  when  you  want  to  talk  about  your 
case,  go  and  see  the  secretary.  I  believe  I  can 
teach  this  science  to  others,  or  I  should  quit  it. 
I  dragged  ten  years'  miserable  existence  working 
too  hard  when  there  was  no  use  of  it.  I  have 
put  in  tens  of  thousands  of  dollars  here  to  dem- 
onstrate to  you  that  I  can  teach  it,  and  that  men 
do  know  it.  I  do  not  go  over  the  town  at  the 
birth  of  every  child.  The  people  send  for  one 
of  the  operators,  expect  results,  and  they  get 
them.  I  don't  want  people  tapping  on  the  win- 
dow for  me  to  stop  and  examine  them  after  such 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL.  353 

men  as  Dr.  Hildreth  or  Dr.  Patterson  or  others 
have  passed  on  their  cases.  I  am  willing  to  stop 
on  the  porches  and  talk  with  you,  and  have  a 
good  time,  but  I  don't  want  to  examine  you.  I 
know  you  can  have  it  done  better  here.  You 
come  here  an  old  skeleton  with  but  little  meat 
on  it,  and  sneak  in  as  if  you  were  ashamed  to 
come.  You  are  ashamed  to  come,  and  many  of 
you  don't  let  your  husbands  know  it.  That  is 
your  side  of  it.  What  have  you  had?  You 
have  had  the  surgeon's  knife  lacerate  your 
body,  and  some  leading  nerve  of  the  body  cut 
out.  You  come  here  and  expect  of  us,  what? 
To  make  a  man  or  woman  out  of  you  after  you 
have  been  slashed  up  as  if  you  had  had  a  fight 
in  Russia  with  three  wild  boars.  The  ham- 
strings are  cut;  can  you  make  a  leg  out  of  it? 
Can  you  make  an  arm  when  the  sub-clavian  artery 
is  cut?  Nine  out  of  ten  who  come  here  for  treat- 
ment have  tried  everything  else.  They  say  they 
are  hopeless;  but  I  don't  believe  a  word  of  that, 
or  they  would  not  come  here.  Many  have  been 
operated  upon.  They  have  goitre  and  have  been 
treated  by  the  knife,  the  thyroid  artery  cut,  the 
hypodermic  syringe,  acids,  and  poisons  used. 
We  don't  want  that  kind  of  a  case  because  the 

arteries  that    supply   the  parts   have  been  de- 
23 


354  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

stroyed.  We  have  less  material  to  work  with 
than  we  want.  You.  come  here  loaded  with 
digitalis,  what  for?  Why,  on  account  of  heart 
trouble.  What  do  we  find?  We  find  a  heart 
probably  longer  than  it  ought  to  be,  or  too 
wide.  I  caution  my  operators  in  such  cases  not 
to  deal  with  that  set  of  nerves  so  as  to  throw 
too  great  force  on  the  heart,  but  let  it  on  easy. 
I  say  to  them : 

"Boys,  don't  flatter  any  man,  woman,  or  child 
who  comes  here.  Tell  them  there  is  some  hope. 
Two  to  four  weeks  will  show  what  chance  there 
is  for  them.  I  don't  want  the  patients  to  say, 
'Dr.  Landes  would  not  give  me  any  assurance 
about  it. ' "  He  is  not  going  to  do  it  and  stay 
with  me.  Dr.  Patterson,  or  Dr.  Charley,  my 
son,  will  not  gi^^e  you  any  flattery.  If  they  can 
give  you  a  ray  of  hope  they  will  do  so.  You 
come  here  with  what  you  call  aneurism  of  any 
great  vessel  leading  to  the  heart.  Suppose  Dr. 
Charley  examines  that  heart ;  he  hears  a  rasping 
sound.  He  asks  you  who  said  it  was  aneurism. 
You  answer,  Dr.  Neely,  or  else  say  Dr.  Mudge, 
or  Fudge,  of  St.  Louis,  or  some  other  place. 
There  is  the  rasping,  roaring  sound.  You  can 
easily  hear  it.  Aneurism — what  is  that?  Dr. 
Charley  Still,  what  do  you  flnd  there?     He  says 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  355 

to  the  patient,  "When  did  you  first  notice  that?" 
"A  horse  scared  by  a  pig  threw  me  off,  and  then 
ray  heart  made  the  noise."  "How  long  after- 
ward?"    "Two  minutes." 

Dr.  Smith,  how  long  does  it  take  to  make 
aneurism  on  an  artery?  Answer:  "Weeks  or 
months."  And  his  heart  made  that  noise  in  two 
minutes  after  being  thrown  from  his  horse.  I 
myself  was  thrown  from  a  horse  and  got  a  jolt, 
and  that  set  my  heart  tooting,  and  they  told  me  it 
was  valvular  disturbance.  That  noise  indicates 
that  the  phrenic  nerve  and  some  muscles  are  not 
acting  right,  and  every  time  the  bow  or  artery 
is  drawn  across  it  makes  that  noise.  They  go 
back  to  Kentucky  cured'of  so-called  aneurism. 

I  think  it  is  useless  to  talk  further,  as  the 
night  is  hot,  and  it  takes  a  great  deal  of  pa- 
tience to  be  patient  such  an  evening  as  this,  so 
I  will  bid  you  good-night. 


CHAPTER  XXIV. 

Lecture  April  25th,  1895— Not  an  Intidel— Again  That  Won- 
derful Machine — What  Business  Sagacity  Teaches  Us— 
The  Blacksmith  and  Watchmaker — Object  of  the  School — 
Want  No  Moderate  Osteopaths — Medicine  and  Twelve 
Thousand  Poisons — A  Case  of  Aphonia. 

Wednesday  mornings  we  make  it  a  rule  to 
talk  in  this  hall  on  Osteopathy.  To  those  per- 
sons who  have  been  here  for  some  time,  perhaps 
these  talks,  like  some  sermons,  may  act  as  nar- 
cotic and  induce  slumber;  but  the  strangers 
present  may  desire  to  know  what  Osteopathy  is. 
The  same  question  is  asked,  What  is  medicine? 
what  is  homeopathy?  I  take  great  pleasure 
in  telling  you  what  I  know  about  it.  Before  I 
pass  to  that  subject,  allow  me  to  say,  some  per- 
sons think  I  am  an  infidel,  some  a  hypnotist, 
or  a  mesmerist,  or  something  of  that  kind  or 
nature.  Disabuse  your  minds  of  all  such  stuff 
as  that  once  and  forever. 

An  observation  upon  our  surroundings  this 
morning,  of  budding  trees,  growing  grass,  open- 
ing flowers,  too  plainly  tells  that  Intelligence 
guided  and  directed  and  controlled  this  wonder- 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL.  357 

ful  creation  of  all  animate  and  inanimate  things. 
Deity,  the  greatest  of  all  creators,  made  this 
mighty  universe  with  such  exactness,  beauty, 
and  harmony  that  no  mechanical  ingenuity  pos- 
sessed by  man  can  equal  the  mechanism  of  that 
first  great  creation.  Botany,  astronomy,  zool- 
ogy, i^hilosophy,  anatomy,  all  natural  sciences, 
reveal  to  man  these  higher,  nobler,  grander  laws 
and  their  absolute  perfection.  Viewed  through 
the  most  powerful  microscope  or  otherwise,  no 
defects  can  be  found  in  the  works  of  Deity. 

The  mechanism  is  perfect,  the  material  used 
is  good,  the  supply  sufficient,  the  antidotes  for 
all  frictions,  jars,  or  discords  are  found  to  exist 
in  sufficient  quantities  to  the  materials  selected ; 
and  the  process  through  which  they  pass,  after 
the  machine  is  put  in  motion  and  properly  ad- 
justed, to  maintain  active,  vigorous  life,  is  mar- 
velous. Man,  the  most  complex,  intricate,  and 
delicately  contructed  machine  of  all  creation,  is 
the  one  with  which  the  Osteopath  must  become 
familiar.  Business  sagacity  and  sense  teach  us 
that  in  all  departments  of  art,  science,  philoso- 
phy, or  mechanics  you  must  have  skilled  and 
experienced  operators.  Would  you  think  of 
taking  your  gold  watch  when  out  of  repair  to 
a  skilled  blacksmith,  or  to  a  silversmith?     Cer- 


358  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

tainly  to  the  latter — why?  Because  he  is  the 
man  educated  and  skilled  in  adjusting  this  del- 
icately constructed  machine.  He  knows  its  con- 
struction, the  function  each  wheel-pivot  or  bear- 
ing must  perform  in  order  that  your  watch  will 
with  accuracy  register  the  time.  Even  then  you 
would  not  leave  your  watch  with  every  one  who 
displays  a  placard,  "Watches  Repaired."  The 
skilled  blacksmith  can  do  his  work  in  his  line. 
He  can  make  a  horseshoe  to  perfection.  He 
uses  vice,  bellows,  anvil,  and  hammer;  so  does 
the  silversmith.  The  materials  differ  in  the 
quantity  used  by  each  more  perhaps  than  qual- 
tity,  the  great  difference  being  in  the  delicacy 
of  the  machinery,  and  the  weakness  of  its  parts 
to  the  susceptibility  of  any  foreign  substance  in- 
troduced into  the  machinery  of  the  watch  to  pro- 
duce irregular  motion,  obstruction,  wear,  decay, 
and  finally  death.  The  blacksmith  can  set  the 
tire  on  a  wagon  or  carriage  wheel,  place  it  upon 
the  spindle  properly  adjusted,  and  it  is  ready  to 
roll.  The  point  I  wish  to  have  you  bear  in  mind 
is  this,  that  to  be  an  Osteopath  you  must  study 
and  know  the  exact  construction  of  the  human 
body,  the  exact  location  of  every  bone,  nerve, 
fiber,  muscle,  and  organ,  the  origin,  the  course 
and  flow  of  all  the  fluids  of  the  body,  the  rela- 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  359 

tion  of  each  to  the  other,  and  the  functions  it  is 
to  perform  in  perpetuating  life  and  health.  In 
addition  you  must  have  the  skill  and  ability  to 
enable  you  to  detect  the  exact  location  of  any 
and  all  obstructions  to  the  regular  movements 
of  this  grand  machinery  of  life. 

Not  only  must  you  be  able  to  locate  the  ob- 
struction, but  you  must  have  the  skill  to  remove 
it.  You  must  be  able  to  wield  the  sledge-ham- 
mer of  the  blacksmith,  as  well  as  the  most  deli- 
cate drill  of  the  silversmith.  The  aim  of  this 
school  is  to  furnish  to  the  world  skilled  Osteo- 
paths. Our  ability  to  do  that  is  beyond  ques- 
tion. A  few  very  ordinary  Osteopaths  are 
springing  up  here  and  there,  who  in  time  will 
demonstrate  their  failures  as  all  incompetents 
must. 

I  am  saddened  at  the  thought  of  the  impo- 
sitions thus  palmed  off  on  the  public,  and  the 
association  of  the  word  Osteopathy  with  the 
names  of  pretenders.  The  consoling  thought 
is  that  their  days  are  numbered. 

The  Hoosier,  when  he  meets  another,  says, 
"How  are  you?"  The  reply  invariably  is, 
"Moderate."  We  want  no  moderate  Osteo- 
paths. We  want  and  must  have  all  Osteo- 
paths   who,    when   they   find   pneumonia,   flux, 


360  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

scarlet  fever,  diphtheria,  know  the  exact  loca- 
tion and  cause  of  the  trouble,  and  how  to  re- 
move it.  He  must  not  be  a  blacksmith  only, 
and  only  able  to  hit  large  bones  and  muscles 
with  a  heavy  hammer,  but  he  must  be  able  to 
use  the  most  delicate  instruments  of  the  silver- 
smith in  adjusting  the  deranged,  displaced  bones, 
nerves,  muscles,  and  remove  all  obstructions, 
and  thereby  set  the  machinery  of  life  moving. 
To  do  this  is  to  be  an  Osteopath. 

Yon  who  are  here  to-day  have  only  to  use  the 
sense  of  sight  to  satisfy  you  whether  I  speak 
truly  or  not.  Medicine,  as  shown  by  dispensa- 
tories, has  called  to  aid  about  twelve  thousand 
different  kinds  in  its  efforts  to  heal  diseases. 
With  all  these,  the  most  intelligent  of  the  pro- 
fession are  not  satisfied  with  the  results.  This 
long  list  of  poisons  is  an  attempt  to  prove  God 
made  a  failure  in  providing  a  law  by  which  dis- 
ease might  be  reached  and  arrested  by  a  thor- 
ough knowledge  of  that  law.  I  believe  God 
made  no  mistake.  I  believe  man  made  the 
mistake  when  he  undertook  to  inject  poisonous 
substances  into  the  human  system  as  a  remedy 
for  disease,  instead  of  applying  the  laws  of  crea- 
tion to  that  end.  Here  is  where  Osteopathy  and 
medicine   part    company.     When   I    touch    the 


DR.  STILL    DEMONSTRATING    HIS    LECTURE. 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  361 

keys  on  this  piano,  the  effect  of  the  stroke  is  to 
produce  a  sound ;  when  in  tune  the  combination 
of  notes  produces  harmony;  the  same  law  is 
found  to  exist  in  the  vocal  chords. 

I  see  in  the  audience  a  lady  that  came  here  a 
few  days  ago  suffering  from  aphonia,  who  had 
been  in  that  condition  for  ten  weeks,  whose  voice 
can  now  be  heard  all  over  the  house.  (At  the 
doctor's  request,  the  lady  spoke  in  a  distinct, 
audible  tone.)  This  is  a  restoration  of  voice 
brought  about  by  simply  adjusting  the  vocal  or- 
gans. Deity  created  the  organs,  and  also  the  law 
of  their  adjustment  when  out  of  order;  neither 
did  He  mistake  in  the  creation,  nor  in  the  law. 

Eegarding  the  evil  effects  produced  by  the  free 
use  of  drugs,  much  can  be  said,  yea,  volumes 
could  be  written  to  trace  the  injuries  produced  by 
the  use  of  calomel  alone.  This  morning  I  will 
mention  only  one  or  two.  About  sixty  years  ago 
quinine  was  first  used,  and  then  very  sparingly ; 
but  soon,  on  account  of  its  supposed  efficacy  in 
malarial  fever,  it  became  the  great  panacea  as  a 
febrifuge.  Not  only  the  size  of  the  doses  was  in- 
creased, but  the  frequency  in  the  doses  also. 
Prior  to  that  time  fibroid  tumors  were  scarce. 
To-day  I  verily  believe  the  greater  number  of 
fibroid   tumors  we   find  in  people  are  produced 


362  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL. 

from  the  large  quaotity  of  quinine  used,  together 
perhaps  with  belladonna  and  other  poisonous  sub- 
stances. These  excrescences,  the  foundation  for 
which  was  laid  by  one  generation  of  doctors, 
furnish  this  generation  with  an  ample  opportunity 
for  the  use  of  the  surgeon's  knife.  The  attempted 
removal  of  them  by  the  knife  usually  removes 
the  patient  to  that  other  land,  about  the  time 
the  tumor  is  removed  from  the  body. 

Bereaved  husbands  and  friends  reverentially 
listen  to  the  minister  relate  that  in  God's  provi- 
dence the  sister  had  been  called  to  her  eternal 
home  far  beyond  moving  worlds  and  burning 
suns.  By  way  of  consolation  to  the  bereaved 
husband,  he  quotes  the  Scriptural  text,  with  an 
addendum  attached :  "  Whom  the  Lord  loveth  He 
chasteneth"  (with  another  wife). 


CHAPTER    XXV. 

Address  to  Students  and  Diplomats,  May  7th,  1894 — Osteopathy 
Adheres  to  the  Laws  of  Nature— Affidavits  of  Medical 
Doctors — Osteopathy  Can  Accomplish  All  Things — All  or 
Nothing— Stand  by  the  Old  Flag. 

At  the  beginning  of  your  Osteopathic  duties 
you  have  the  satisfaction  of  knowing  that  you 
are  about  to  enter  the  practice  of  a  science.  By 
a  systematic  adherence  to  its  never-failing  laws, 
you  will  prove  an  honor  to  yourself  and  a  bene- 
factor to  mankind.  You  should  ever  remember 
that  Osteopathy  is  confined  to  the  immutable  laws 
of  nature,  and  an  unerring  Deity  who  is  its  Au- 
thor. As  such,  it  only  remains  for  the  Osteopath 
to  conform  to  these  laws,  and  his  efforts  in  this 
life  will  not  only  be  crowned  with  success,  but 
made  rich  with  thanks  of  his  fellow-man.  You 
are  indeed  to  be  congratulated  upon  the  splendid 
grades  attained  at  the  close  of  the  recent  exami- 
nations. 

The  American  School  of  Osteopathy  stands 
to-day  with    all    the   evidences  of    success.     It 


364  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL. 

has  reached  this  attitude  in  spite  of  the 
schemes  invented  by  designing  men  to  con- 
nect our  science  with  antiquated  ignorance 
and  modern  stupidity,  to  force  us  to  accept 
relationship  with  allopathic  drugs,  homeopath- 
ic pills,  electric  shocks,  medicated  sweat- 
tubs,  and  orificial  surgery.  We  are  proud 
of  the  fact  that  our  science  is  giving  more 
relief  to  suffering  humanity  when  properly 
applied,  than  all  the  sciences  known  to  human 
sympathy  combined.  We  pride  ourselves  on  the 
truth  that  we  are  daily  giving  to  suffering 
humanity  health  and  comfort,  peace  and  hap- 
piness, relief  from  pain,  with  good-will  tow- 
ard men. 

This  is  the  sole  object  of  our  school,  and  we 
should  strive  to  maintain  it  in  its  stainless  purity. 
No  system  of  allopathy,  with  its  fatal  drugs, 
should  ever  be  permitted  to  enter  .our  doors. 
No  homeopathic  practice,  with  its  sugar-coated 
pills,  must  be  allowed  to  stain  or  pollute 
our  name.  No  orificial  surgery,  with  its  tor- 
tures and  disappointments  to  the  afflicted, 
can  possibly  find  an  abiding  -  place  in  the 
mind  of  the  true,  tried,  and  qualified  Oste- 
opath. Osteopathy  asks  not  the  aid  of  any- 
thing else.     It  can  "  paddle  its  own  canoe  "  and 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  365 

perform  its  work  within  itself  when  under- 
stood. All  it  asks  is  a  thorough  knowledge  of 
the  unerring  laws  that  govern  its  guidance,  and 
the  rest  is  yours. 

Eminent  physicians  and  surgeons  of  the  "old 
school,  "  who  have  obtained  considerable  promi- 
nence in  their  respective  localities,  and  who  were 
former  instructors  in  this  institution  of  learning, 
have  cheerfully  given  us  affidavits  as  an  evidence 
of  the  high  regard  in  which  they  hold  the  science 
of  Osteopathy.  To  them,  as  their  sworn  state- 
ment shows,  Osteopathy  stands  pre-eminently 
above  all  things  else.  They  do  not  link  it  with 
various  other  devices  for  the  relief  of  suffer- 
ing humanity,  but  make  it  the  all-absorb- 
ing and  permanent  science  of  the  age.  So 
with  pleasure  I  submit  you  the  following 
sworn  statement: 

KiRKSViLLE,  Mo.,  January  13th,  1893. 

I  am  a  fully  qualified  physician  and  surgeon, 
registered  to  practice.  I  have  an  intimate  ac- 
quaintance with  the  methods  of  treating  diseases 
known  as  Osteopathy,  in  which  no  drugs  are 
used. 

I  solemnly  and  sincerely  swear  that  I  believe 
and  know  the  above  system  to  be  in  advance  of 


366  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL. 

anything  known  to  the  general  medical  profes- 
sion in  the  treatment  of  disease., 

Andrew  P.  Davis,  M.D., 
Registered  in  Mo.^  HI.,  Colo.,  CaL,  and  Texas. 

William  Smith, 
Physician    and    Surgeon,  Registered    in  Scot- 
land, and  Mo. 

F.  S.  Davis,  M.D., 

Registered  in  Texas. 

Subscribed  and  sworn  to  before  me  this  four- 
teenth day  of  January,  a.d.  1893.  My  commis- 
sion expires  September  5th,  1895. 

[Seal.]  William  T.  Porter, 

Notary  Public. 

Thus  will  be  seen  the  position  that  Osteopathy 
occupies  in  the  estimation  of  these  gentlemen, 
who  doubtless  would  blush  with  shame  to  see 
their  names  affixed  to  anything  inconsistent  or 
contrary  to  their  sworn  statements.  It  will  be 
observed  that  allopathy,  homeopathy,  eclecticism, 
and  orificial  surgery  in  particular  are  conspicu- 
ously evaded — and  surely  they  would  not  stoop 
to  belittle  our  science  by  mixing  or  connecting 
it  with  these  fading  sciences  of  antiquity.  You 
are  thus  appealed  to,  to  be  likewise  in  the  practice 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  367 

of  your  chosen  profession.  Remember  that  all 
power  is  of  no  avail  unless  guided  by  the  laws  of 
the  unerring  Deity,  to  whose  unchangeable  laws 
we  must  conform  if  we  hope  to  win  the  battle  of 
life.  Osteopathy  should  be  the  lighthouse  on 
which  your  eye  must  be  continually  fixed.  In 
its  study  you  will  find  room  for  every  thought,  a 
place  for  every  idea,  and  comfort  for  every  fear. 
New  and  difficult  cases  will  be  presented  to  you 
for  adjustment,  but  stick  to  Osteopathy.  Do  not 
warp  your  intellect  or  stain  the  good  name  of 
this  school  by  straying  after  strange  gods.  Al- 
ways bear  in  mind  that  Osteopathy  will  do  the 
work  if  properly  applied,  that  all  else  is  un- 
natural, unreasonable,  and  is  therefore  wrong, 
and  should  not  be  entertained  by  the  student  or 
diplomat  who  has  the  brain  to  grasp  in  all  its 
fulness  the  most  advanced  and  progressive 
science  of  the  nineteenth  centur}-. 

If  Osteopathy  is  not  complete  within  itself,  it 
is  nothing.  It  walks  hand  in  hand  with  nothing 
but  nature's  laws,  and  for  this  reason  alone  it 
marks  the  most  significant  progress  in  the  history 
of  scientific  research,  and  is  as  plainly  understood 
by  the  natural  mind  as  the  gild  at  even-tide  that 
decks  the  golden  West.  Hear  me  again !  You 
are  the  only  true  and  brave  soldiers  in  the  great 


368  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL. 

army  of  freedom,  battling  for  the  liberation  of 
fettered  bodies.  On  your  conscientious  work  will 
rest  the  thanks  of  man.  Live  up  to  the  great 
cause  of  Osteopathy,  and  let  not  the  weary  one 
fall  by  the  wayside.  Lift  in  sympathy  and  love 
the  suffering  brother  from  out  the  depths  of  dis- 
ease and  drugs.  Let  your  light  so  shine  before 
men  that  the  world  will  know  you  are  an  Oste- 
opath pure  and  simple,  and  that  no  prouder  title 
can  follow  a  human  name.  Stand  by  the  "old 
flag"  of  Osteopathy,  on  whose  fluttering  folds  are 
emblazoned  in  letters  of  glittering  gold :  "  One 
science,  one  Lord,  one  faith,  and  one  baptism." 


CHAPTER   XXVI. 

Address  on  Twenty -first  Anniversary  of  the  Discovery  of  Os- 
teopathy, June22d,  1895 — King  Alcohol — Fitting  Out  Man 
for  the  Journey  of  Life — The  Lever  tliat  Controls  Fever — 
The  Great  Wisdom  Knows  No  Failure — Why  "Osteopathy" 
Was  Chosen  for  This  Science — Gall-Stones  and  Cure. 

Ladies  and  Gentlemen  : — I  believe  this  is  the 
usual  manner  of  beginning  a  speech.  I  am  of 
such  a  timid  nature  I  hardly  know  how  to  com- 
mence my  talk,  and  will  preface  it  by  taking  a 
drink  (of  water),  as  I  am  very  dry. 

"  I  am  very  dry"  is  a  phrase  as  old  as  "  Hark 
from  the  tomb  the  doleful  sound!"  and  many 
men  have  sung  that  lullaby. 

How  often  we   hear,  "I  am   mighty  dry,  my 

teeth  are  sore,  my  gums  are  swelled,  my  joints 

ache,"  and  so  on,  ad  infinitum.     These  painful 

effects  have  been  brought  about  by  the  use  of 

gamboge,  aloes,  castor-oil,  and  kindred  angels  of 

recovery.     Such  angels  stood  around  us  often  in 

the  past ;  and  among  them  was  one  not  always 

in  open  view  of  the  neighbors — one  which  usually 

dwelt  in  the  cellar,  a  short-necked  angel  called 

king — King  Alcohol. 
24 


370  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

God  protect  us  from  the  guardianship  of  such 
angels! 

They  are  stationed  around  us  by  the  doctors. 
For  physicians,  as  men,  I  have  due  respect,  and 
give  them  the  right  hand  of  fellowship.  They 
belong  to  my  race,  have  the  same  general  make- 
up— tw^o  eyes,  tvro  hands,  two  feet — and  to  go 
back  on  them,  or  to  refuse  to  meet  them,  would 
be  to  plead  the  baby  act. 

We  have  no  intention  of  conducting  ourselves 
in  that  way.  We  are  armed  with  the  unerring 
javelin  of  truth,  and  ready  to  meet  all  opponents, 
adherents  of  medical  theories  as  well  as  all 
others, 

I  have  no  desire  to  make  war  on  the  doctors 
themselves,  but  against  their  fallacious  theories. 
What  does  medicine  do  for  you?  By  temporarily 
allaying  a  disease  it  often  begets  a  worse  thing 
and  fills  the  system  with  poison.  In  administer- 
ing it  the  physician  is  never  sure  of  results,  and 
can  only  stand  helplessly  by,  and  await  develop- 
ments, trying  another  remedy  when  one  fails. 

They  battle  with  death  over  the  bedside  of 
their  own  loved  ones,  and  cry  out  in  anguish  of 
heart:  "God  give  me  intelligence  and  skill  to 
save  the  angels  of  ray  fireside!     Lord,  help  me!" 

But  so  long  as  their  methods  are  not  founded 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  371 

on  unerring  laws,  so  long  will  their  hands  be  tied, 
and  they  cannot  combat  successfully  either  death 
or  disease.  I  do  not  claim  to  be  the  author  of 
this  science  of  Osteopathy.  No  human  hand 
framed  its  laws ;  I  ask  no  greater  honor  than  to 
have  discovered  it. 

Its  teachings  have  convinced  me  that  the 
Architect  of  the  universe  was  wise  enough  to 
construct  man  so  he  could  travel  from  the  Maine 
of  birth  to  the  California  of  the  grave  unaided 
by  drugs.  In  1849,  during  the  gold  fever,  when 
men  traveled  the  long  route  overland,  what  did 
they  do  at  the  outset  of  their  journey? 

They  made  all  due  preparations  in  the  way  of 
provisions,  strong  wagons  with  three-inch  tires, 
ox-bolts,  covers,  and  everything  fit  to  meet  the 
storms  of  the  plains,  and  neither  did  they  forget 
their  snake  medicine.  Without  these  cool  ar- 
rangements and  necessary  conveniences  they 
would  have  ended  their  trip  close  home,  and 
their  desired  object  would  have  been  unat- 
tained. 

God,  when  He  starts  man  out  on  the  journey 
of  life,  fits  him  out  with  even  greater  care 
than  this. 

Nothing  is  forgotten — heart,  brains,  muscles, 
ligaments,  nerves,  bones,  veins,  arteries,  every- 


372  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

thing  necessary  to  the  successful  running  of  this 
human  machine.  But  it  seems  man  sometimes 
doubts  that  God  has  loaded  his  wagon  with  all 
needful  things,  and  so  sets  up  numerous  drug- 
stores to  help  out  in  the  matter.  We  have  about 
seven  in  this  (5ity,  and  they  all  have  plenty  to 
do,  and  will  have  until  the  laws  of  life  are  more 
perfectly  understood. 

Man  wants  to  take  the  reins  of  the  universe 
into  his  own  hands.  He  says  in  case  of  fever  he 
must  assist  nature  by  administering  ipecac  and 
other  febrifuges.  But  by  doing  this  he  is  accus- 
ing God  of  incapacity.  You  may  be  sure  the 
Divine  intelligence  failed  not  to  put  into  the  ma- 
chine of  man  a  lever  by  which  to  control  fever. 
The  Lord  never  runs  out  of  material;  He  con- 
structs lawyers,  musicians,  mechanics,  artists, 
and  all  the  useful  men,  while  I  suppose  fools  are 
made  out  of  the  leavings. 

In  the  past  I  stood  and  watched  four  phy- 
sicians, the  best  the  medical  schools  could  fur- 
nish, battle  with  all  their  skill  against  the  dread 
disease  of  cerebro-spinal  meningitis  in  my  family. 
I  found  prayers,  tears,  and  medicine  all  unavail- 
ing. The  war  between  life  and  death  was  a  fierce 
one,  but  at  the  close  of  it  three  lifeless  bodies  lay 
in  my  desolate  home. 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  373 

In  my  grief  the  thought  came  to  me  that  Deity 
did  not  give  life  simply  for  the  purpose  of  so  soon 
destroying  it — such  a  Deity  would  be  nothing 
short  of  a  murderer.  I  was  convinced  there  was 
something  surer  and  stronger  with  which  to  fight 
sickness  than  drugs,  and  I  vowed  to  search  until 
I  found  it. 

The  result  was  that  in  1874  I  raised  the  flag  of 
Osteopathy,  claiming  that  "  God  is  God,  and  the 
machinery  He  put  in  man  is  perfect." 

This  created  quite  a  consternation.  Three 
sows  among  ten  goslings  would  not  have  made 
such  a  fuss.  Some  of  my  friends  even  went  so 
far  as  to  ask  the  Lord  to  take  me  unto  Himself 
because  I  had  gone  back  on  medicine.  I  had 
simply  climbed  higher  than  medicine  to  the 
Source  of  all  forms  of  life.  The  Great  Wisdom 
knows  no  failures  and  asks  no  instructions  from 
inferior  man.  When  He  makes  a  tomato-vine 
He  needs  no  help.  He  supplies  it  with  lungs,*' 
trunk,  brachial  nerves,  and  arteries.  The  Grand 
Architect  of  the  universe  builds  without  sound 
of  hammer;  nature  is  silent  in  her  work. 

Man  is  an  interesting  study.  Think  of  your 
three  pounds  of  brain,  out  of  which  you  only 
use  about  one  ounce  for  reason.  You  needn't 
think   I    am  calling  you   a    fool,   for  it  is  true 


374  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

that  the  brain  is  the  rostrum  on  which  thought 
dwells. 

I  have  studied  man  as  a  machine.  I  am  an 
engineer,  and  know  something  of  locomotives.  I 
can  tell  you  how  the  positive  force  of  steam 
drives  the  engine  forward,  and  how  the  steam 
escapes  at  the  safety-valve. 

Man's  heart  is  his  engine,  and  from  this  Ful- 
ton borrowed  his  idea  of  the  steamboat  and  Morse 
his  thought  of  telegraphy.  You  will  remember 
that  when  Morse  was  ready  to  make  his  first  ex- 
periment, he  was  heaped  with  ridicule.  To  the 
honor  of  Thomas  H.  Benton,  of  Missouri,  be  it 
said,  when  Morse  asked  aid  from  Congress  he 
wished  success  to  the  enterprise.  But  Henry 
Clay,  the  great  statesman  of  Kentucky,  said  to 
Mr.  Morse:  "Go  to  hell  with  your  d — d  non- 
sense." When  Morse  asked  Congress  eight 
thousand  dollars  to  develop  his  science,  Clay 
•offered  an  amendment  appropriating  two  thou- 
sand to  investigate  mesmerism. 

Did  such  abuse  injure  Morse?  No;  when  a 
man  has  a  truth,  abuse  does  him  good.  I 
wouldn't  take  one  thousand  dollars  for  the  caw, 
caw  of  crows  that  have  croaked  at  me;  they 
simply  act  as  manure  to  enrich  my  life-work. 
Some  say:  "  We  don't  believe  Osteopath}'  can  do 


'AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  375 

what  is  claimed  for  it."  That  is  all  right;  for 
fifteen  cents  a  man  can  buy  a  patent  right  to  call 
anything  a  humbug. 

I  never  say  I  can  do  anything  unless  I  am  very 
sure  of  it.  When  there  is  a  shut-off  in  the  nutri- 
tive supply,  starvation  is  the  result,  and  some 
part  of  the  body  withers  away,  and  physicians 
can  only  declare  their  inability  to  restore  it,  for 
in  such  a  case  medicine  is  of  no  avail. 

When  Christ  restored  the  withered  arm,  He 
knew  how  to  articulate  the  clavicle  with  the 
acromian  process,  freeing  the  subclavian  artery 
and  veins  to  perform  ^their  functions. 

Some  people  have  an  idea  that  this  science  can 
be  learned  in  iSve  minutes.  They  come  here  and 
spend  four  hours,  then  go  out  and  declare  them- 
selves Osteopaths. 

That  is  very  much  as  if  a  man  who  has  made 
an  utter  failure  as  a  doctor,  farmer,  mechanic,  or 
a  preacher,  were  to  meet  an  attorney  on  the 
street,  and  after  a  few  minutes'  conversation  de- 
clare  himself  a  lawyer  and  decide  to  become  cir- 
cuit judge  the  following  week.  If  you  can  learn 
all  of  Osteopathy  in  four  years  I  will  buy  you  a 
farm,  and  a  wife  to  run  it  and  boss  you.  I  have 
discovered  that  man  is  an  engine  and  his  supply 
comes  direct  from  the  arterial  system.     When 


376  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL. 

you  understand  man,  you  can  prove  God's  per- 
fect work. 

I  do  not  understand  a  preacher's  business.  I 
have  not  made  a  study  of  the  Bible;  but  the 
knowledge  I  have  gained  of  the  construction  of 
man  convinces  me  of  the  supreme  wisdom  of  the 
Deity. 

Now  let  us  ask  the  Lord  a  question,  and  the 
asking  of  such  questions  is  right:  Can  you, 
Lord,  create  man's  internal  system  so  he  can 
drink  all  kinds  of  water  and  not  have  bladder- 
stones?  The  answer  would  be.  Yes.  God  has 
forgotten  nothing,  and  we  find  a  supply  of  uric 
acid  for  destroying  stone  in  bladder  or  gall-stones. 
I  have  no  fear  to  investigate  along  this  line,  for 
I  always  find  that  God  has  done  His  work  per- 
fectly. Just  see  how  He  has  regulated  the  heart- 
beats to  supply  the  proper  amount  of  electricity 
or  warmth  requisite  in  various  forms  of  life. 

For  twenty -one  years  I  have  worked  in  Oste- 
opathy, yQ\  I  keep  my  throat  every  ready  for  the 
swallowing  of  new  things  that  constantly  appear 
in  it.  I  expect  to  live  and  die  fighting  for  prin- 
ciple, and  shall  pay  no  attention  to  the  twaddle 
of  opposition,  merely  regarding  it  as  a  fertilizer 
of  my  work  by  a  fine  quality  of  ignorance.  The 
Osteopath  who  keeps  his  eye  on  the  science,  and 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T    STILL.  377 

not  on  the  almighty  dollar,  will  be  able  to  control 
all  forms  of  disease. 

If  such  work  had  been  carried  on  in  Massachu- 
setts one  hundred  years  ago,  all  those  partici- 
pating in  it  would  have  been  drowned  or  burned 
at  the  stake.  For  to  those  ignorant  of  the  laws 
of  life,  such  wonderful  results  seem  obtained  only 
by  witchcraft.  This,  the  22d  of  June,  is  the  an- 
niversary of  the  child  of  Osteopathy,  the  child  of 
which  I  am  justly  proud.  And  to-day,  on  its 
coming  of  age,  I  am  happy  and  welcome  you 
gladly.  On  each  successive  year  that  I  live  I 
hope  to  meet  you  here  and  tell  of  even  greater 
advancement  along  these  lines. 


CHAPTER   XXVII. 

The  Morning  Stroll — Dawn — Astronomy — Timidity — The  Flag 
of  Truce — The  Kind  of  Scalps  We  Seek — A  Prayer  for 
Wives  and  Mothers — The  New  Joshua — Divorced  from 
Allopathy— The  Looms  of  Time— The  Web  of  Life— "The 
Old  Doctor" — Some  Questions  Answered — How  Curious  is 
Life — Prophecy  Defined — Thought  Touches  the  Infinite. 

Through  all  the  darksome  night  I  lay  en- 
chained by  slumber's  thrall,  but  with  the  first 
faint  flushing  of  the  dewy  morn  I  arose  and  wan- 
dered forth. 

All  nature  seemed  to  wait  in  hushed  expec- 
tancy. With  the  iron  hand  of  will  I  barred  the 
gate  of  memory,  shut  out  the  past  with  all  its  old 
ideas.  My  soul  took  on  receptive  attitude,  my 
ear  was  tuned  to  Nature's  rhythmic  harmony. 
Afar  o'er  billows  of  the  briny  deep  I  saw  faint 
shafts  of  light  arise,  enriching  with  rosy  tint  the 
pallor  of  the  dawn.  I  saw  the  red  disc  of  the 
sun  peep  forth,  then  spring — full-orbed  and  fiery 
— from  night's  embrace,  and  kiss  the  world  to 
waking  beauty.  My  spirit  was  o'erwhelmed 
with  the  unmeasurable  magnitude  of  the  De- 
ific  plan  on  which  the  universe    is  constructed. 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  379 

Standing  on  the  border  of  the  land  where  waves 
from  fancy's  sea  break  on  the  shores  of  fact,  I 
saw  with  mental  orb  a  beauteous  vision  in  the 
sky.  With  pen  of  truth  dipped  boldly  in  imag- 
ination's ruddy  ink,  I  paint  the  picture  as  it 
came  to  me.  High  up  in  heaven's  empyrean 
dome  of  blue  I  saw  great  Sirius,  central  sun  of 
stillness,  reign  and  marshal  all  his  starry  host 
with  skill.  And  as  they  wheeled  and  counter- 
wheeled  in  air,  I  saw  among  those  myriad  worlds 
a  family  circle  all  complete  that  seemed  to  dwell 
apart.  This  was  the  solar  system  with  its  fair 
members.  Although  this  group  doth  dwell  in 
isolation,  the  union  between  its  members  is  so 
perfect  that  the  slightest  shock  doth  jar  with 
harsh  discord  on  each  sister  planet.  The  central 
figure  of  the  group,  mother  Sun,  illumines  space 
with  her  effulgent  rays,  and  lights  the  pathway 
of  numerous  children  and  grandchildren  too. 
She  is  a  matchless  mother,  and  guides  her  chil- 
dren well;  each  one  of  them  is  polished  to  the 
highest  point  of  perfection  known  to  skill.  Born 
without  flaw,  obeys  willingly,  hears  every  call, 
performs  every  part  assigned  it  in  the  grand  plan 
which  the  mother  has  on  constant  exhibition. 

Small  Mercury  dwells  close  unto  her  mother's 
side,  as  if  she  feared  to  wander  away  lest  she  be 


380      ■      AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

lost  in  fields  of  space.  She  is  arrayed  in  robes  of 
vivid  white,  without  a  spot  to  mar  her  purity. 
Venus,  fair  star  that  decks  the  morning  sky  and 
lights  the  evening's  dusky  breast,  is  the  most 
brilliant  of  all  the  daughters  of  the  Sun.  She 
glows  with  conscious  beauty,  and  even  dares  to 
cast  a  shadow  on  the  earth.  She  brings  no  child 
to  gladden  her  mother's  heart  and  help  increase 
the  starry  progeny.  The  eldest  child  of  all,  Mrs. 
Uranus,  is  guilty  of  no  shortcoming.  Although 
further  removed,  she  is  never  from  the  watch- 
care  of  the  parental  eye,  and  brings  the  grand- 
children in  full  view  of  the  old  grandmother 
every  few  hours,  days,  months,  or  years.  Her 
family  is  well  regulated  and  their  movements 
always  on  time.  I  saw  the  gay,  vivacious  Mrs. 
Saturn,  with  her  many  rings.  She  smiled  on 
Jupiter,  danced  with  Mercury,  burnished  the 
Moon,  and  shed  the  light  of  her  instruction  on 
her  many  children.  Bold-belted  Jupiter,  fiery 
Mars,  far-distant  Neptune,  our  own  Earth,  whose 
daughter.  Moon,  doth  wax  and  wane  with  sil- 
very light — all  these  unfalteringly  obeyed  the 
slightest  mandate  of  the  lady  Sun,  and  followed 
with  unfaltering  footsteps  the  line  of  march  she 
had  laid  out  for  them.  I  saw  the  face  of  the 
dear  mother  shrouded  by  a  veil  of  impenetrable 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  381 

mourning,  as  if  her  heart  were  grieved  by  some 
erring  action  of  one  of  her  beauteous  family. 
But  in  an  hour  or  two,  as  we  count  time,  the 
dark  shroud  of  seeming  woe  was  lifted,  and 
revealed  her  face,  not  shrunken  or  disfigured,  but 
glowing  with  fresh  brilliancy  and  with  a  sunny 
smile.  She  sent  this  message  to  me  on  a  ray  of 
light: 

"  I  was  not  garbed  in  mourning.  One  of  my 
children  stepped  between  you  and  my  face,  as 
another  one  does  between  me  and  my  fair  grand- 
daughter— lovely  Moon." 

All  this  I  saw,  and  more.  I  saw  great  stellar 
worlds  give  birth  to  other  worlds.  I  saw  those 
worlds  live,  grow,  and  die,  and  the  offsprings 
thereof  repeat  in  accordance  with  nature's  law 
the  same  process  of  exhibition  and  retirement^ — 
just  as  the  children  of  men  pass  through  the  vari- 
ous phases  of  physical  life.  I  beheld  these  glorious 
denizens  of  upper  air  in  brilliant  brave  attire  ad- 
vance, and  to  the  refulgent  music  of  the  spheres 
dance  rhythmically  upon  the  floor  of  space. 
With  reverential  eyes  I  saw  this  part  of  a  whole, 
whose  beginning  and  end  we  know  not! — this 
branch  of  the  universal  life  that  throbs  and  pulses 
through  every  vein  of  nature  and  guides  each 
atom  on  its  way  throughout  the  countless  ages 


382  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL. 

of  eternity.  This  life  is  law,  and  Osteopathy  its 
latest  clause  that  teaches  us  its  magnitude,  and 
doth  direct  and  guide  creation's  crowning  work 
— the  living  man — unto  his  perfect,  right,  un- 
changing health. 

Timidity  takes  possession  of  us  only  when  we 
are  at  a  loss  to  judge  of  the  end  from  the  begin- 
ning. For  instance,  we  are  timid  about  going 
under  the  influence  of  chloroform,  because  we 
do  not  know  whether  we  will  perish  or  survive 
its  use. 

The  same  timidity  comes  over  us  in  the  use  of 
drugs. 

In  Osteopathic  treatment  we  have  no  timidity, 
as  Osteopathy  strengthens  us  in  all  cases.  In  no 
instance  has  death  ever  occurred  as  the  result  of 
the  treatment,  though  thousands  have  received 
benefit  at  the  hands  of  skilled  graduates  of  our 
school. 

For  twenty-five  years  legal  recognition  has 
been  withheld  from  us,  yet  our  flag  for  truth 
has  ever  given  music  to  the  breezes.  Strong 
mortars  have  thrown  shells  of  great  size,  loaded 
with  that  which  had  done  deadly  execution  and 
taken  down  the  flags  of  all  opposition,  until 
1874,  when  little  Osteopathy  planted  a  single 
gun  in  open  field  in  the  powerful  State  of  Mis- 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  383 

sonri.  Shells  have  fallen  all  around  that  flag 
for  twenty-two  years,  and  on  review  at  roll-call 
not  a  thread  is  found  to  be  torn  or  missing. 
Each  thread  is  stronger,  and  calls  legions  to  its 
defence.  Anthems  are  sung  to  its  praise.  Its 
victories  multiply  and  come  in  quick  succession. 
The  brainy  are  among  its  captives.  It  never 
records  a  victory  if  it  has  not  conquered  a  general 
of  renown.  The  scalps  of  fools  and  children  are 
never  counted,  as  we  do  not  wish  to  be  tried  for 
infanticide.  It  must  not  be  the  scalp  of  a  bald- 
headed  general.  We  want  no  toy  ladies'-man's 
scalp.  It  must  be  a  rooster  with  full  comb  and 
spurs,  or  we  will  never  exhibit  him  as  a  trophy. 
This  is  a  war  not  for  conquest,  popularity,  or 
power.  It  is  an  aggressive  campaign  for  love, 
truth,  and  humanity.  We  love  every  man, 
woman,  and  child  of  our  race;  so  much  so  that 
we  have  enlisted  and  placed  our  lives  in  front  of 
the  enemy  for  their  good  and  the  good  of  all 
coming  generations,  and  ask  the  Lord,  who 
stayed  the  knife  that  was  in  the  hands  of  Abra- 
ham of  old  for  the  destruction  of  his  own  son,  to 
please  aid  and  assist  by  all  honorable  means  to 
stop  the  useless  butchery  of  our  mothers,  wives, 
sisters,  and  daughters;  to  teach  our  people  better 
sense  than  to  use  any  drug  which  would  cause 


384  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL. 

gall-stones,  bladder-stones,  diseased  livers,  heart, 
and  lungs,  fibroid  tumors,  piles,  appendicitis,  or 
any  other  disease  or  habit  which  may  be  traced 
directly  to  the  unphilosophical  use  of  drugs, 
which  are  given  by  one  and  produce  tumefaction 
of  any  or  all  parts  of  the  body,  leaving  the  pa- 
tient in  such  a  condition  that  there  is  no  relief 
short  of  the  deadly  knife  or  the  next  experimen- 
ter. This  war  has  raged  hot  and  heavy  for 
nearly  a  quarter  of  a  century.  Its  position  as  a 
witness  has  been  before  the  judge  of  love,  truth, 
justice,  and  humanity. 

Since  October,  1874,  my  pen  has  been  silent  as 
to  reports  of  how  the  child,  Osteopathy,  has  been 
treated.  When  I  opened  the  cage  in  which  I 
kept  the  boy  that  I  believed  in  time  would  be 
the  greatest  warrior  who  ever  appeared  on  the 
world's  stage  of  reason,  many  stayed  long 
enough  to  see  that  the  child  was  a  boy,  red- 
headed, had  a  Roman  nose,  a  good-sized  neck, 
an  eagle's  eye,  talons,  and  wings  of  great  length, 
which  they  said  meant  to  fly  very  high  if  neces- 
sary, and  the  eye  meant  to  select  the  choicest 
gems  at  will,  and  the  claws  said  in  the  best  of 
language  that  to  penetrate  deeply  was  the  rule  of 
reason  and  wholly  indispensable.  After  a  care- 
ful investigation  all  said:  "That  child  has  the 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  385 

build  of  a  gritty  and  sensible  warrior."  Others 
asked :  "  Why  do  you  want  to  fight  in  time  of 
peace?"  I  told  the  multitude  that  in  days  of 
peace  was  the  time  to  prepare  for  war.  I  began 
to  train  my  boy  for  the  Olympic  games  of  all 
future  days.  For  years  I  kept  him  in  close 
training  to  be  a  skilled  fencer,  for  I  knew  much 
hard  fighting  would  have  to  be  done  as  soon  as 
the  boy  kicked  old  theories  which  could  boast  of 
no  merit  save  age  and  tradition.  I  knew  my 
Joshua  would  soon  command  such  suns  and 
moons  to  stand,  and  make  them  obey  to  the 
letter. 

Some  said,  but  in  a  low  whisper,  that  young 
one  was  an  illegitimate  child :  its  father  could  not 
be  found,  and  it  would  at  all  times  be  known  as 
a  bastard;  further  than  that,  no  illegitimate 
could  be  allowed  to  run  at  large  in  Missouri. 
But  it  soon  grew  to  manhood,  and  sued  its  ac- 
cusers for  slander,  and  the  suit  was  put  off  from 
term  to  term  for  over  twenty  years. 

A  great  and  good  man,  by  the  name  of  Lon 
V.  Stephens,  arose  in  the  highest  court  of  Mis- 
souri and  said:  "I  am  its  father,  and  will  give 
it  Missouri  for  its  inheritance."  And  he  ex- 
ecuted his  will   and  put  the  great  seal  of  the 

State  of  Missouri,   with  his    signature  of    au- 
25 


386  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

thority,   on    March   4th,    1897,   and   named   the 
boy  Joshua. 

Revolution  after  revolution  —  political,  relig- 
ious, and  scientific — has  originated  in  Amer- 
ica. Governments  have  changed  with  the  veloc- 
ity of  demand.  These  revolutions  run  from  the 
congregated  assemblies  of  our  law-makers,  mili- 
tary, religious,  and  scientific  professions,  and 
have  the  navigation  of  the  seas  down  to  each  in- 
dividual, which  has  granted  to  him  the  right  to 
secede  or  differ  from  any  of  the  above-named 
systems.  He  or  she  has  the  right  to  ask  and 
obtain  a  divorce  from  husband  or  wife  when 
proof  in  sufficient  quantity  is  produced ;  and  let- 
ters to  that  effect  are  granted  by  our  highest 
courts  by  common  consent  of  our  people.  As  I 
was  wedded  to  Allopathy  early  in  my  life,  I  lived 
with  it,  put  up  with  it,  suffered  under  it,  until 
it  made  my  life  miserable  by  continuing  the  as- 
sociation, and  I  asked  a  divorce.  I  asked,  and 
put  in  my  petition  on  June  22d,  1874.  I  based 
my  charges  upon  the  foundations  of  murder,  ig- 
norance, bigotry,  and  intolerance.  The  fight  in 
the  court  through  which  I  had  applied  was  very 
hot  and  determined.  A  decision  was  refused 
from  1874  until  October  30th,  1894,  previous  to 
which  time  the  judge  of  the  court  carefully  ex- 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  387 

amined  my  claims  and  referred  my  case  to  the 
secretary  of  state,  who,  after  causing  a  careful 
examination,  granted  me  letters-patent  from 
the  State  of  Missouri,  with  her  great  seal,  and 
said :  "  You  are  hereby  set  free  from  further  obli- 
gations to  Mrs.  Allopathy." 

For  about  twelve  months  I  have  been  busily 
engaged  in  overhauling  my  loom.  I  had  a  loom 
of  the  finest  construction;  not  made  on  earth, 
neither  is  it  made  by  hand.  It  is  the  outgrowth 
of  mind.  No  thread  can  pass  through  its  reeds 
that  has  not  been  spun  from  the  finest  silk  of 
reason.  Ten  thousand  four-cut  six-ply  threads, 
with  one  hundred  and  forty  to  the  cut,  from 
a  reel  whose  circumference  was  twelve  feet. 
Every  journal  is  oiled  with  that  class  of  oil 
that  sticks  to  the  steel  journals  and  cannot 
stick  to  anything  else.  Its  duties  are  limited  to 
the  journal  only,  and  will  stay  there,  and  there 
alone.  Those  journals  are  great  in  velocity. 
They  make  many  thousand  revolutions  per  min- 
ute. I  am  now  preparing  to  manufacture,  or 
weave,  as  you  would  term  it,  a  web  as  long  as 
the  future  days  of  eternity.  I  am  commissioned 
and  appointed  by  the  ancients  of  rest,  whose 
minds  are  never  still,  to  proceed  at  once  and  fill 
the  sley  or  reed  with  five  threads  in  each  mesh, 


388  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL. 

and  begin  to  weave  the  web  of  life.  I  am  or- 
dered to  use  those  five  threads  because  they  con- 
tain sensation,  motion,  nutrition,  assimilation, 
and  body  completed.  Those  same  threads  con- 
tain five  senses.  They  see,  hear,  feel,  smell, 
taste.  By  the  ability  they  contain,  it  is  only 
necessary  for  me  to  start  the  looms  in  motion. 
Name  the  subject,  and  the  web  is  woven  to  the 
very  highest  order,  to  answer  and  satisfy  the 
mind  of  the  greatest  philosopher  and  seeker  after 
truth.  I  will  give  you  a  handkerchief,  white  as 
snow,  solid  as  steel,  pure  as  gold,  and  on  its  face 
in  a  few  words  I  will  tell  you  what  road  or 
roads  lead  to  a  successful  knowledge  of  what 
thread  or  threads  have  broken,  gummed,  or  dis- 
turbed in  the  human  looms  of  life. 

The  question  has  been  asked  so  long,  and 
often,  and  by  so  many,  if  my  name  was  "Dr.  A. 
T.  Still,  the  old  doctor."  Universally  I  have 
said  Yes.  Then  the  questions  would  begin: 
"How  did  you  happen  to  think  of  Osteopathy, 
the  most  wonderful  science  in  the  world,  the 
greatest  blessing  God  has  given  to  man?"  and 
a  thousand  more  qualifying  expressions  of  ap- 
proval and  admiration  of  the  science.  I  will 
now  cheerfully  give  you  an  answer  by  asking 
you  a  few  questions.     Why  and  how  do  you  see 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  389 

an  object?  smell  an  odor?  taste  a  quality? 
hear  a  sound?  feel  a  substance?  Which  you 
would  answer  by  saying,  Nature  has  made  in 
me  such  machineries  and  endowed  each  with  the 
necessary  qualities  to  perform  such  functions. 
Therefore  you  see,  hear,  taste,  and  smell  be- 
cause by  nature  you  are  endowed  with  such 
qualities,  and  are  free  to  use  them.  The  same 
question  could  be  asked  of  Newton  as  to  how 
he  studied  astronomy,  Fulton  as  to  steam,  Howe 
and  the  sewing-machine,  Morse  in  telegraphy, 
Washington  in  studying  out  the  liberties  of 
America,  and  many  other  men  who  have  ob- 
tained great  results  in  mental  action.  If  you 
will  read  their  history,  you  would  see  all  the 
results  which  they  have  obtained  have  come 
through  mental  perseverance,  without  regard  to 
time,  or  the  opinions  of  any  person  or  persons 
for  or  against,  until  they  have  obtained  the  ob- 
ject sought,  without  which  no  explorer  ever 
succeeds.  If  you  think  on  the  line  I  have  in- 
dicated, you  can  answer  all  your  questions  your- 
selves, without  seeing  the  "old  doctor."  All 
successful  persons  become  so  by  choosing  one 
business,  and  bringing  all  the  powers  of  mind 
to  develop  the  principle  sought,  without  which 
his  seat  and  position  is  with  the  "common  herd." 


390  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

He  who  talks  much,  does  little,  and  hates  his 
successful  brother  or  sister,  because  they  have 
succeeded  by  perseverance,  while  he  has  failed 
through  laziness  and  stupidity,  will  never  suc- 
ceed in  anything.  You  say.  How  curious  life  is! 
That  is  a  truthful  expression  of  a  man  speaking 
of  law  when  excusing  its  functions.  It  would  be 
proper  even  in  a  "Deity"  to  say:  "Oh,  how  curi- 
ous art  thou !"  Faultless,  peaceful,  eternal,  self- 
finding,  self-feeding,  nerve  and  muscle  of  all  an- 
imate and  inanimate  substances  of  motor,  mo- 
tion, mind,  shape,  and  form,  speaking  of  self  only 
as  seen  and  felt;  making  the  eye  to  behold, 
minds  to  sit  in  judgment  on  thy  work.  A 
judge,  to  do  justice  in  his  decision,  must  have 
the  whole  of  the  evidence  of  the  case ;  and  self 
being  witness,  juror,  and  judge,  and  knowing  all 
the  subject  and  substances  of  the  infinite  acts  of 
force,  then  he,  too,  must  say,  How  curious! 

Prophecy  is  what  can  be  seen  by  a  cloudless 
mind,  either  of  the  past  or  future.  The  events 
of  the  past  and  coming  days  must  all  be  in  sight 
of  the  eye  of  the  mind.  To  prophesy  well,  you 
must  see  through  two  veils — one  of  the  past  and 
one  of  the  future.  If  an  event  is  to  arise  to- 
morrow, where  is  it  now?  Memory  calls  up  the 
past;  reason  sees  to-morrow. 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  391 

Thought  is  the  action  of  the  machinery  of  the 
upper  or  third  story  of  life,  fed  by  the  nerves  of 
sensation  and  nutrition,  on  which  chamber  only 
the  corpuscles  of  life  center — the  arteries  of 
reason  to  be  woven  into  knowledge  by  the  loom 
of  the  Infinite,  which  moves  all  there  is  of  mind 
at  one  general  move,  which  is  to  put  that  power 
into  motion  in  all  beings,  forms,  and  worlds:  a 
quality  and  as  plentiful  as  all  space,  when  you 
think  you  touch  the  cord  that  connects  you  to 
the  Infinite. 

All  causes  combined  will  never  shake  the  stone 
on  which  Osteopathy  is  founded.  Go  deep  or 
shallow,  the  farming  is  rich  all  the  time. 

Of  what  value  is  a  mind  when  placed  in  the 
brain  of  a  coward?  If  mind  is  a  gift  of  God  to 
man  for  his  use,  let  him  use  it.  A  mind  is  not 
in  use  when  doing  no  good. 

If  God  knows  a  man  will  not  use  his  mind, 
why  did  He  not  put  horns  on  him  and  call  him  a 
mutton-head? 


CHAPTER   XXVIII. 

A  Life  Story — The  Machine  for  the  Harvest  of  Life — A  Reso- 
lution for  Truth — High  Respect  for  Surgery — Surgery 
Defined — What  Can  Osteopathy  Give  in  Place  of  Drugs? — 
A  Few  Questions  are  Propounded  ta  the  Medical  Doctors. 

Listen  to  a  life  story  told  in  five  minutes  or 
more.  I  was  born  on  this  globe  sixty -eight  years 
ago.  I  had  the  luck,  good  or  bad,  to  be  born  in 
a  house  of  drugs.  Father  was  an  M.D.,  also  a 
D.D.  At  the  end  of  thirty-five  years  I  began  to 
reason  how  a  doctor  of  divinity  could  blend  with 
the  foolish  teachings  of  medicine.  Questions 
arose  like  this:  How  can  man  harmonize  the 
idea  that  all  God 's  work  is  perfect,  and  never  in 
running  order?  His  finest  machine,  man,  is 
never  in  running  condition?  Has  the  God  of 
wisdom  failed  in  this  one  superstructure,  man, 
and  why  did  He  say  it  was  good  if  He  knew  it 
would  not  work  as  He  thought  when  He  made  it, 
and  why  should  a  D.D.,  who  with  uplifted  hands 
says,  "His  works  prove  His  perfection,"  and  take 
a  dose  of  quinine  and  whisky  to  assist  nature's 
machine  to  run  the  race  and  do  the  duties  of  life? 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL.  393 

If  SO,  where  is  the  proof  of  his  faith  in  God's  per- 
fection, and  why  should  he  eat  and  drink  of  all 
that  is  deadly  in  effect?  I  did  not  wish  to  think 
or  speak  irreverently  of  our  divines,  nor  our 
M.D. 's,  who  follow  just  behind  God  to  fix  His 
machines  for  the  harvest  of  life.  But  why  fol- 
low His  work,  if  good  and  wisely  made  by  the 
hand  and  mind  of  all  Intelligence?  I  began  to 
reason  about  on  this  line : 

Would  God  get  offended  at  man  if  he  would 
say  to  Him,  "You  have  failed  in  enough  places  to 
admit  of  a  few  suggestions"? — when  man  in  his 
wisdom,  or  lack  of  wisdom,  would  say  by  word 
or  deed,  "Thou  hast  failed  to  make  this  and  that 
part  or  principle  to  adjust  itself  to  suit  the  sea- 
sons and  climates  of  the  globe,  on  which  it  is 
placed,  and  your  machine  must  have  additions, 
and  be  oiled  by  drugs  and  drinks,  or  it  will  be 
forever  a  failure  on  the  field  of  battle  between 
life  and  death  now  raging  all  over  the  world"? 
Such  questions  arose,  and  stood  before  me  for 
years.  I  found  to  my  mind  that  there  was  a 
great  mistake  in  God's  work  or  man's  conclu- 
sions, if  drugs  were  not  in  absolute  demand  when 
he  was  sick.  Now  I  was  in  a  close  place,  and 
saw  at  once  that  if  I  voted  to  use  drugs,  I  would 
by  that  vote  set  aside  the  ability  of  God  to  pro- 


394  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL. 

vide  for  His  man  under  all  conditions,  and  He 
was  not  the  mind  and  intelligence  claimed  for 
Him;  and  if  I  voted  for  God,  I  would  soon  find 
seventy-five  per  cent  of  the  human  race  in  line 
to  oppose  that  conclusion.  To  defend  and  main- 
tain that  the  works  of  nature  had  been  able  to 
prove  perfection  at  every  point  of  observation, 
or  under  our  most  crucial  test  of  philosophy,  I 
soon  found,  to  be  popular  I  would  have  to  enter  a 
life  of  deception ;  and  at  that  time  I  determined 
to  run  up  the  white  emblem  of  truth  with  the 
red  flag  of  eternal  war  for  that  flag,  and  by  it  I 
would  stand  until  I  was  dead,  dead,  and  folded 
in  it  to  begin  the  common  rest  of  all  human 
forms,  which  is  as  natural  to  the  body  of  man 
as  the  love  of  a  mother  to  her  babe. 

The  advocate  of  Osteopathy  has  the  highest 
respect  for  the  science  of  surgery,  which  has 
been  recognized  as  a  science  in  all  ages. 

As  defined  by  Dunglison,  "Surgery  is  that 
part  of  the  healing  art  which  relates  to  exter- 
nal diseases,  their  treatment,  and  especially  to 
the  manual  operations  adapted  to  their  cure." 
A  little  more  definite  is  the  wording  in  Cham- 
bers' "Encyclopedia":  "Surgery  signifies  the 
manual  interference,  by  means  of  instruments  or 
otherwise,  in  cases  of  bodily  injury,  as  distin- 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  395 

guished  from  the  practice  of  medicine  which 
denotes  the  treatment  of  internal  diseases  by 
means  of  drugs." 

As  has  been  before  stated,  the  object  of  Oste- 
opathy is  to  improve  upon  the  present  systems 
of  surgery,  midwifery,  and  treatment  of  general 
diseases;  it  is  a  system  of  healing  which  reaches 
both  internal  and  external  diseases  b}'^  manual 
operations  and  without  drugs.  In  the  common 
acceptation  of  the  word,  as  popularly  understood, 
surgery  means  cutting,  and  any  reference  to  a 
surgeon's  work  calls  up  a  mental  picture  of 
such  instruments  as  the  knife,  scalpel,  or  lance, 
and  their  use  upon  the  human  body.  We  accept 
that  part  of  surgery  also  as  of  great  use  and  ben- 
efit to  mankind.  An  Osteopath  will  use  a  knife 
to  remove  any  useless  parts  as  quickly  as  a  car- 
penter would  use  a  saw  to  remove  a  useless  piece 
of  timber. 

We  recognize  the  necessity  for  bandages,  lint, 
splints,  stays,  and  anesthetics,  because  they  have 
proven  their  beneficial  uses. 

But  when  should  the  knife  be  used?  Never, 
until  all  nerves,  veins,  and  arteries  have  failed 
to  restore  a  healthy  condition  of  the  body  in  all 
its  parts  and  functions.  The  great  failing  of 
many  who  enter  surgical  work  is  their  too  fre- 


396  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL. 

quent  use  of  the  knife  and  anesthetics.  Where 
chloroform  is  used  a  hundred  times,  ninety-nine 
times  it  could  have  been  avoided  with  beneficial 
results  to  the  patient. 

Many  are  the  sufferers  who  go  through  life 
disfigured,  maimed,  or  deprived  of  some  essential 
organ,  who  should  have  had  their  body  restored 
to  a  perfect  condition  without  being  so  mutilated. 

The  oftener  the  knife  is  used  upon  the  limbs, 
body,  or  head  for  any  purpose,  the  more  positively 
is  shown  an  inexcusable  ignorance  of  the  natural 
law,  which  we  recognize  as  a  law  able  to  restore 
any  and  all  parts  where  death  of  the  tissues  has 
not  occurred. 

What  can  Osteopathy  give  us  in  place  of  drugs? 
This  is  a  great  question  which  doctors  ask  in 
thunder-tones.  Tell  them  to  be  seated,  and  lis- 
ten to  a  few  truths  and  questions. 

"  What  will  you  give  in  place  of  drugs?"  We 
have  nothing  we  can  give  in  place  of  calomel, 
because  Osteopathy  does  not  ruin  your  teeth,  nor 
destroy  the  stomach,  liver,  nor  any  organ  or  sub- 
stance in  the  system.  We  cannot  give  you  any- 
thing in  place  of  the  deadly  nightshade,  whose 
poison  reaches  and  ruins  the  eyes,  sight  and 
shape  both,  and  makes  tumors  great  and  small. 
We  have  nothing  to  give  in  place  of  aloes,  which 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  397 

purge  a  few  times  and  leave  you  with  unbear- 
able piles  for  life. 

We  have  nothing  to  give  in  place  of  morphine, 
chloral,  digitalis,  veratrine,  Pulsatilla,  and  all  the 
deadly  sedatives  of  all  schools.  We  know  they 
will  kill,  and  that  is  all  we  know  about  them. 
We  do  not  know  that  they  ever  cured  a  single 
case  of  sickness,  but  we  do  know  they  have  slain 
thousands,  and  we  cannot  give  anything  that  will 
take  their  places.  Their  place  is  to  ruin  for  life, 
and  Osteopathy  considers  life  too  precious  to  place 
its  chances  in  jeopardy  by  any  means  or  methods. 
In  answer  to  the  inquiry,  What  can  you  give  us 
in  place  of  drugs?  we  cannot  add  or  give  any- 
thing from  the  material  world  that  would  be 
beneficial  to  the  workings  of  a  perfect  machine, 
that  was  made  and  put  in  running  order,  accord- 
ing to  God's  judgment,  in  the  construction  of  all 
its  parts,  to  add  to  its  form  and  power  day  by 
day,  and  carry  out  all  exhausted  substances  that 
have  been  made  so  by  wear  and  motion. 

If  this  machine  is  self-propelling,  self-sustain- 
ing, having  all  the  machinery  of  strength,  all 
the  thrones  of  reason  established,  and  all  work- 
ing to  perfection,  is  it  not  reasonable  to  suppose 
that  the  amount  of  wisdom  thus  far  shown  in 
the   complete   forms  and   the   workings  of  the 


398  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

chemical  department,  the  motor  department,  the 
nutritive,  sensory,  the  compounding  of  elements, 
the  avenues  and  power  to  deliver  these  compounds 
to  any  part  of  the  body,  to  make  the  newly  com- 
pounded fluids,  any  change  in  the  chemical  qual- 
ity that  is  necessary  for  renovation  and  restora- 
tion to  health? 

When  we  see  the  readiness  of  the  brain  to  sup- 
ply sensation  and  motion,  and  we  are  notified  of 
an  unnecessary  accumulation  at  any  point  of  the 
body  by  sensation  or  misery,  we  want  that  over- 
accumulation  removed,  for  it  is  making  inroads 
on  life  through  the  sensory  ganglion  to  all  its 
centers,  which,  we  know,  when  fully  possessed  by 
diseased  fluids,  produce  death  from  climatic  or 
diseases  of  the  seasons  as  they  come  and  go. 

If  life  yields  to  the  poisonous  fluids  that  are 
generated  during  detention  and  chemical  changes, 
why  not  conclude  at  once  that  the  motor  power 
was  insufficient  to  keep  in  action  the  machinery 
of  renovation  through  the  excretory  system ;  and 
reason  proceeds  at  once  to  reach  the  oppressed 
points  and  centers  through  which  the  vasomotor 
or  other  nerves  are  irritated,  causing  the  venous 
circulation  to  be  so  feeble  as  to  allow  diseased 
fluids  to  accumulate  locally  or  generally  through 
the  system,  to  such  a  length  of  time  that   the 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL.  399 

fluids  become  deadly  in  their  nature  by  the  power 
of  separation  being  overcome  and  lost. 

Osteopathy  reasons  that  the  special  or  general 
power  of  all  nerves  must  be  free  to  travel  through 
all  parts  of  the  body  without  any  obstruction, 
which  may  be  caused  by  a  dislocated  bone,  a  con- 
tracted, shrunken,  or  enlarged  muscle,  nerve, 
vein,  or  artery.  When  enlarged  or  diminished 
they  are  abnormal  in  form,  and  all  their  actions 
in  and  for  life,  which  acts  must  be  strictly  in 
obedience  to  the  law  of  force,  are  found  in  the 
heart,  brain,  and  the  whole  sensory  system. 

If  you  have  a  thorough  and  practical  acquaint- 
ance, through  anatomy  and  physiology,  with  the 
form  and  workings  of  the  machinery  of  life  and 
health,  and  treat  it  as  a  skilful  physiological  en- 
gineer should,  then  you  are  prepared  to  say  to 
the  doctors  of  medicine,  We  have  found  no  place 
in  the  whole  human  body  where  you  can  sub- 
stitute anything  but  death  in  place  of  life.  Ee- 
move  all  obstructions,  and  when  it  is  intelligently 
done,  nature  will  kindly  do  the  rest. 

Let  me  in  conclusion  ask  the  drug  doctor  if 
he  has  been  able  at  any  time  to  compound  any 
substance  that  can  be  introduced  into  a  vein  that 
leads  to  the  heart,  and  not  produce  death?  Do 
you  not  throw  all  substances  into  the  stomach 


400  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL. 

with  the  expectation  that  they  will  reach  the 
divine  chemical  laboratory  and  throw  out  that 
which  is  incompatible  to  life?  Are  not  all  your 
hopes  in  drugs  placed  upon  this  one  foundation, 
that  we  make  the  horse  of  life  trot  slower  for 
fever,  and  walk  faster  in  the  cold  stage?  In 
short,  doctor,  is  not  your  whole  theory  based 
upon  guesswork? 

Has  not  nature's  God  been  thoughtful  enough 
to  place  in  man  all  the  elements  and  principles 
that  the  word  "remedy"  means? 


CHAPTER   XXIX. 

Address  on  Sixty-Eighth  Birthday — Only  a  Few  More  Cycles 
of  Time — Surprise  of  People — All  the  Word  "Remedy" 
Means — Answering  Questions — Most  Sublime  Thought — 
Pleasure  of  Granting  Eelief — Journey  from  the  Heart  to 
the  Toe — Intuitive  Mind — Will  the  Divine  Law  Do  to 
Trust? 

Ladies  and  Gentlemen:  Those  of  you  who 
have  received  the  light,  and  those  who  are  in 
partial  darkness: 

I  am  glad  to  meet  you  here  to-night,  this  being 
the  second  anniversary  of  the  beginning  of  this 
unfinished  house.  We  began  to  build  it  two 
years  ago,  and  it  has  done  great  good;  but  with- 
out the  completion  of  the  whole  building  it  is  very 
difficult  for  us  to  execute  in  order  the  quantity 
of  business  that  is  now  on  hand,  which  seems  to 
double  itself  every  few  months.  This  is  also  the 
anniversary  of  my  birth.  Sixtj^-eight  times  the 
earth  has  made  her  circuit  around  the  sun,  and 
every  time  she  gets  around  she  says,  "  One  more 
circle  is  added  to  that  number."  We  are  con- 
scious of  the  fact  that  but  a  few  more  revolu- 
tions around  the  sun,  which  constitutes  one  year 
26 


402  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL. 

for  this  globe,  will  throw  us  off.  As  a  gen- 
eral rule,  a  wild  mule  will  throw  a  man  off  some- 
time; so  will  this  life  buck  at  the  right  time, 
and  you  will  mark  a  wreck.  After  a  man  has 
reached  the  age  that  I  have,  one  ought  not  to  be 
surprised  to  hear  of  a  wreck  at  any  time.  Still, 
I  feel  sound.  I  have  no  backache,  no  legache, 
and  no  headache,  though  my  tongue  and  throat 
sometimes  ache  when  I  try  to  answer  all  ques- 
tions. People  seem  to  be  surprised,  as  much  so 
as  if  they  should  see  two  suns  rise  in  the  morn- 
ing horizon.  They  are  surprised  to  see  a  science 
and  truth  of  God  developed  which  applies  to  all 
men,  and  that  without  either  taste  or  odor — a  sci- 
ence grafted  into  man's  makeup  and  his  very 
life.  They  are  surprised  to  find  that  the  Great 
Architect  has  put  in  their  places  within  man  all 
the  processes  of  life.  He  has  placed  the  engine 
with  all  powers  of  life  within  the  body.  Nature 
has  been  thoughtful  enough  to  place  in  man  all 
that  the  word  "  remedy"  means.  It  is  a  difficult 
matter  for  a  man  raised  to  believe  in  the  use  of 
drugs,  to  realize  this  fact.  In  all  our  diseases, 
from  birth  to  death,  they  seem  to  have  been  sat- 
isfied with  the  results  of  drugs  given  by  our 
wisest  men,  our  fathers,  mothers,  or  whoever 
may  have  administered  them.     Man  is  surprised 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  403 

to  find  God  to  be  God.  He  is  surprised  to  find 
that  man  is  made  by  the  eternal,  unerring  Ar- 
chitect. He  is  surprised  from  the  rising  of  the 
sun  to  the  setting  of  the  same  to  find  eternal 
truths  of  Deity  permeating  his  whole  makeup. 
He  is  surprised  to  find  that  the  machinery  is 
competent  to  warm  itself  and  cool  itself,  select 
its  food,  and  satisfy  its  highest  anticipations. 
We  see  this  most  wonderful  sun  standing  before 
us  where  we  never  imagined  a  star  to  exist.  It 
is  the  sun  of  eternal  light  and  life.  The  thoughts 
of  God  Himself  are  found  in  every  drop  of  your 
blood.  When  a  man  begins  to  see  what  we  are 
doing  here,  he  is  anxious  to  ask  questions  of  any 
one  who  knows  anything  about  it;  a  world  of 
questions  are  poured  upon  us.  I  can  answer 
from  morning  until  night,  and  when  I  have  an- 
swered all  that  I  can  on  this  subject,  it  is  but  a 
beginning.  Take  chronic  diseases,  contagions, 
epidemics,  all  diseases  of  the  seasons.  When  I 
say  we  can  handle  them  and  demonstrate  it  to 
you,  here  stands  a  jnan  who  never  saw  it  done, 
and  his  mind  is  full  of  questions.  They  must  be 
answered.  The  very  instant  that  you  disappoint 
him  by  answering  that  which  he  thinks  cannot 
be  done  except  by  the  works  of  God  in  the  hands 
of  God,  that  very  instant  you  have  answered  his 


404  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

question.  He  will  pass  od,  and  on  the  next  cor- 
ner when  he  meets  you,  he  has  a  question  for 
you  to  answer  containing  a  greater  per  cent  of 
sublimity  than  the  first.  He  asks  that  question ; 
then,  if  you  are  not  a  philosopher  in  the  science, 
well  acquainted  with  it,  you  have  come  to  a  rest- 
ing-place for  your  mind.  No,  it  does  not  rest 
when  you  cannot  answer  the  questions  that  con- 
front you  from  time  to  time.  I  would  advise 
you  to  take  up  the  philosophy,  and  learn  all  you 
can  about  it,  for  you  know  the  questions  will 
come.  I  am  satisfied  and  pleased  to  have  the 
people  ask  questions  and  receive  all  the  answers 
they  can  get.  And  after  I  have  answered  all  I 
can  through  the  papers  or  with  my  own  mouth, 
I  cannot  even  answer  a  moiety  of  them.  To  an- 
swer all  the  questions  that  are  suggested  by  a 
human  thigh-bone  would  open  and  close  an  eter- 
nity. Therefore  you  must  not  expect  me  to  an- 
swer all  of  them.  Neither  must  you  expect  this 
school  to  do  that  for  you.  You  can  get  enough 
demonstrations  to  put  you  pn  the  track  to  be- 
come a  self-generating  philosopher.  It  is  as  full 
of  suggestions  as  the  rising  of  the  sun,  the  open- 
ing of  the  mouths  of  vegetation  when  the  even- 
ing shades  appear — moon-flowers,  night-flowers, 
and  all  others  opening  their  mouths  to  draw  life 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  405 

from  the  bosom  of  God.  The  most  sublime 
thought  I  ever  had  in  my  life  is  concerning  the 
machinery,  and  the  works  as  I  found  them  in 
the  human  construction,  faithfully  executing  all 
of  the  known  duties  and  the  beauties  of  life. 
When  I  go  out  in  the  morning  among  my  friends, 
and  one  says  he  wants  a  certain  class  of  diet, 
how  glad  I  am  I  have  that.  I  make  each  man, 
woman,  or  child  exactly  fill  my  place  when  the 
questions  are  asked.  When  she  says,  "My  child 
has  a  sore  throat,"  what  is  she  hungry  for?  She 
is  hungry  for  a  longer  lease  on  that  child's  days. 
Can  I  find  that?  Can  I  attack  in  the  proper 
place  to  stop  the  downward  tendency,  the  down- 
ward road  to  death  in  which  that  child  is  being 
propelled?  If  I  can  say,  "Yes,  ma'am,  the 
throat  of  that  child  can  be  relieved,  and  it  can 
be  done  by  one  of  the  simple  laws  as  wise  as  the  In- 
finite can  construct,"  that  soul  goes  away  happy. 
The  throat  has  returned  to  its  normal  size.  But 
another  person  appears  coming  down  the  road 
that  I  walk,  saying: 

"  I  have  buried  one  of  my  children  with  flux, 
and  the  other  is  bleeding."  What  is  she  hun- 
gry for?  She  is  hungry  for  the  word  that  will 
relieve  that  child  and  continue  it  in  life.  Do  I 
know  what  button  will  bring  relief?     If  I  know 


406  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

and  I  touch  it,  there  is  number  two  happy.  I  do 
this,  and  my  operators  do  it,  and  do  it  daily. 
This  science,  as  little  as  is  known  about  it,  is 
capable  of  handling  flux,  fevers,  chills,  coughs, 
colds,  and  in  fact  the  whole  list  of  diseases  that 
prey  upon  the  human  system. 

To-night,  after  forty -one  years,  I  am  proud  to 
tell  you  that  I  can  hand  this  subject  to  you  as  a 
science  that  can  be  as  plainly  demonstrated  as 
the  science  of  electricity.  I  find  in  man  a  mini- 
ature universe.  I  find  matter,  motion,  and  mind. 
When  the  elder  prays,  he  speaks  to  God ;  he  can 
conceive  of  nothing  higher  than  mind,  motion, 
and  matter,  the  attributes  of  mind  comprising 
love  and  all  that  pertains  to  it.  In  man  we  find 
a  complete  universe.  We  find  the  solar  system, 
we  find  a  world,  we  find  a  Venus,  a  Jupiter,  a 
Mars,  a  Herschel,  a  Saturn,  a  Uranus.  We  find 
all  of  the  parts  of  the  whole  solar  system  and  the 
universe  represented  in  man.  In  the  heart  we 
have  the  solar  center ;  the  little  toe  will  be  Ura- 
nus. What  is  the  road  that  is  traveled  to  Ura- 
nus? It  is  from  the  heart  through  the  great 
thoracic  aorta,  abdominal  aorta,  which  divides 
into  the  iliacs,  and  from  there  on  down  to  the 
popliteal,  etc.,  until  you  get  to  the  plantar  ar- 
teries. 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  407 

When  Major  Abbott  spoke  to  me  of  this  subject 
forty-one  years  ago,  we  talked  of  it  as  a  curiosity 
of  the  day.  My  father  was  of  an  intuitive  mind. 
He  was  a  sensitive  man,  and  had  an  intuitive 
mind,  causing  him  to  worry  to  such  an  extent 
that  he  would  turn  his  compass  around  and  go 
across  fifty  or  seventy  miles.  For  what?  Be- 
cause the  intuitive  law,  or  law  of  providence, 
sent  him  home.  Because  something  worried 
him — something  about  a  horse;  and  when  he 
got  home,  old  Jim  was  dead.  When  he  was 
preaching  on  a  certain  occasion  in  the  Chariton 
Hills,  he  came  to  a  halt.     He  says: 

"I  must  bring  these  exercises  to  a  close;  I  am 
wanted  at  another  place."  By  the  intuitive  law 
he  said :  "  I  am  needed,  and  we  will  bring  these 
exercises  to  an  immediate  close."  He  stopped 
right  in  the  center  of  his  sermon,  and  picked  up 
his  saddle-bags  (he  was  a  physician),  and  when 
he  got  to  the  door  there  was  Jim  Bozarth  telling 
him  to  come  and  set  Ed's  thigh,  which  had  been 
broken.  There  were  fifty  living  witnesses  to  that 
then,  and  I  suppose  ten  or  twenty  of  them  are 
yet  alive.  They  wondered  how  old  Dr.  Still  knew 
when  to  take  up  his  saddle-bags.  That  is  one  of 
the  attributes  that  God  puts  in  man. 

Will  the  divine  law  do  to  trust  in  all  things 


408  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

and  under  all  circumstances?  The  tally-sheet 
says  No.  Look  the  world  over,  and  you  will  see 
men  and  women  of  all  nations,  who,  while  mak- 
ing great  pretensions  of  belief  in  the  infallibility 
of  the  Infinite,  do  not  hesitate  to  make  them- 
selves drunk  with  whisky  and  opium ."  as  a  rem- 
edy for  disease."  You  will  sometimes  see  the 
doctor  who  is  called  to  your  bedside  get  drunk 
both  before  and  after  he  makes  you  drunk.  You 
seldom  see  a  minister  who  has  the  courage  to  rise 
before  his  congregation  and  say,  "  Our  system  of 
healing  the  sick  is  worse  than  all  devils;  it 
teaches  by  precept  and  example  that  the  wisdom 
of  God  is  a  farce,  and  that  His  laws  will  not  do 
to  trust  in  disease."  By  their  acts  and  advice  in 
sickness  many  of  our  ministers  day  after  day  set 
aside  the  divine  law,  and  bring  God  to  open 
shame.  They  say  in  the  best  of  language,  "All 
of  God's  work  is  perfect,"  with  great  emphasis 
on  the  word  "perfect,"  and  that  "His  works 
prove  His  perfection,"  yet  do  they  believe  what 
they  say  of  God  and  the  perfection  of  His  laws? 
If  the  minister  really  believes  it,  why  does  he 
send  a  man  loaded  with  poison  into  the  sick 
chamber  of  his  family,  and  drink  the  deadly  bit- 
ters himself?  Has  he  studied  God's  law  as  ap- 
plied to  the  anatomy  and  life  of  man,  that  he 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL.  409 

might  know  what  button  to  touch  to  reduce 
fever?  Or  does  he  think  his  acts  would  be  an 
insult  to  a  God  of  even  human  intelligence?  If 
the  Infinite  knows  all  things,  He  in  justice  would 
mark  such  divines  as  either  liars  and  hypocrites, 
or  fools  of  the  first  water.  The  God  of  all  truth 
knows  full  well  how  many  such  clerics  have 
been  sent  to  the  Keeley  cure.  Are  they  not  the 
host  that  no  man  can  number? 


CHAPTER  XXX. 

Address  on  Sixty-Ninth  Birthday — Tribute  to  a  Little  Anato- 
mist— Parents'  Duty — When  Still  Was  Ofif — A  Warrior 
from  Birth — Who  Discovered  Osteopathy? — Clairvoyant 
and  Clairaudient — Born  to  Know  Something  of  Drugs — 
The  Fight  to  Preserve  Health — Mathematical  Fits — Cli- 
matic Effect  on  the  Lungs — Diet — Consternation — Why 
I  Love  God. 

Ladies  and  Gentlemen,  Strangers,  Boys, 
AND  Little  Girls:  We  have  passed  through  a 
great  national  conflict — thirty  years  have  come 
and  gone  since  then.  We  had  great  speeches  in 
those  times  from  such  men  as  Lincoln,  Seward, 
Chase,  and  thousands  of  mouths  were  then 
opened  for  the  sustaining  of  the  American  flag. 
Those  speeches  will  be  read  with  interest  for 
years  to  come.  But  no  speech  did  I  ever  listen 
to  during  the  hours  of  the  'Rebellion,  while  in 
camp-life  or  on  the  bloody  fields  of  war,  where 
men  fell  like  stars  from  heaven  to  defend  their 
principles  on  both  sides,  and  to  sustain  the  flag 
that  should  be  respected  by  the  nations  of  the 
world — no  speech  has  ever  come  from  man's 
mouth  which  equaled  the  one  from   that  little 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  411 

girl  when  she  numbers  her  bones,  rightly  plac- 
ing, naming,  and  giving  the  uses  of  them.  That 
is  the  kind  of  intelligence  we  want.  I  have 
been  proud  when  I  met  men  that  were  with  me 
on  the  field  of  battle  on  either  side,  but  I  do  not 
know  that  my  heart  ever  had  a  sweeter  feeling 
than  while  that  little  girl  was  saying  her  bone, 
muscle,  and  ligament  piece.  Teach  your  children 
that,  and  they  will  have  less  use  for  war.  War 
comes  to  settle  a  difficulty  through  which  the 
brain  cannot  see.  Here  is  something  encourag- 
ing— nice  girls,  nice  flowers,  and  the  smiling 
faces,  and  I  know  every  one  of  you  intends  to 
master  anatomy.  It  is  their  parents'  duty  to 
teach  them  something  of  this.  They  should 
know  every  muscle  and  its  use,  every  ligament 
and  its  use,  the  bones  and  the  blood  vessels,  be- 
cause the  surgeon's  uncompromising  knife  to- 
day quivers  over  the  heads  of  thousands  of  girls 
in  the  United  States,  and,  like  the  eagle,  tears 
their  vitals  from  them,  not  even  eating  their 
flesh  when  they  are  dead. 

We  have  met  here  on  this  birthday  occasion, 
which  is  also  the  anniversary  of  three  or  four 
other  important  events.  Three  years  ago  to-day 
the  first  shovelful  of  dirt  was  removed  from 
the  southeast  corner  of  the  center  of  this  build- 


412  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL. 

ing.  When  marked  out,  the  stakes  were  sev- 
enty or  eighty  feet  apart.  The  people  looked  at 
me  and  said :  "  Is  Still  going  to  put  up  that  large 
a  building?  What  is  the  matter  with  him?  We 
always  heard  he  was  a  little  off — we  know  he  is 
off  now."  A  year  ago  last  May  he  was  off  again 
by  building  the  north  and  south  additions,  and 
there  is  no  telling  what  day  he  will  be  off  again. 

Thirty-five  years  ago  this  day,  the  blood  of 
brothers  was  spilled  in  this  city  by  the  cannon, 
sword,  and  cold  lead.  Sixty-nine  years  ago  a 
great  question  was  before  the  thinking  people 
of  the  State  of  Virginia.  They  said  there  was 
something  strange  appeared  about  three  miles 
west  of  Jonesboro.  The  wise  men  of  the  East 
and  the  women  of  the  West  were  called  to- 
gether. They  said,  "What  is  it?"  They  studied 
a  minute;  an  old  lady  said,  "P-p-perhaps  it  is  a 
baby."  As  near  as  I  can  remember  I  was  a  war- 
rior at  that  time,  and  I  told  them  so  in  plain 
English  in  less  than  one  hour.  My  mother  said 
I  could  come  as  near  saying  "war"  (wah)  as 
any  child  she  ever  saw  when  I  was  an  hour  old. 
I  could  say  it  with  a  kind  of  a  Southern  twang, 
and  it  has  been  war  ever  since  for  some  cause. 

Now  you  are  interested  in  this  great  question 
of  Osteopathy.     When  a  preacher  gets  up,  he 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  413 

takes  a  text ;  then  he  preaches  to  it  and  from  it, 
just  as  he  can.  If  I  take  my  text,  I  expect  I 
will  preach  a  good  ways  from  it.  My  text  is 
this:  Who  discovered  Osteopathy?  Twenty-four 
years  ago,  the  22d  day  of  next  June,  at  ten 
o'clock,  I  saw  a  small  light  in  the  horizon  of 
truth.  It  was  put  in  my  hand,  as  I  understood 
it,  by  the  God  of  nature.  That  light  bore  on 
its  face  the  inscription:  "This  is  My  medical 
library,  surgery,  and  obstetrics.  This  is  My  book 
with  all  directions,  instructions,  doses,  sizes,  and 
quantities  to  be  used  in  all  cases  of  sickness,  and 
birth,  the  beginning  of  man ;  in  childhood,  youth, 
and  declining  days."  I  am  something  of  what 
people  call  "inspired."  We  Methodists  call  it 
"intuitive."  The  other  classes  have  different 
names  for  it — clairvoyant  and  clairaudient. 
Sometimes  I  was  so  clairvoyant  that  I  could 
see  my  father  twenty  miles  from  home :  I  could 
see  him  very  plainly  cutting  a  switch  for  my 
brother  Jim  and  I,  if  we  hadn't  done  a  good 
day's  work.  That  is  called  clairvoyance.  Then 
I  could  hear  him  say:  "If  you  don't  plow  faster 
I  will  tan  you  twice  a  week."  That  is  clair- 
audience. 

I  was  born  to  know  something  of  drugs.     I 
knew  they  tasted  nasty;   I  knew  they  made  me 


414  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

sick,  and  very  sick;  I  knew  I  didn't  like  them. 
I  grew  up  with  the  question,  as  soon  as  I  was 
old  enough  to  reason  at  all,  whether  or  not  God 
justified  by  any  means  whatever  the  idea  that 
a  man  should  be  released  from  one  poison  by 
the  use  of  another.  That  if  the  season  should 
be  cold,  hot,  wet,  or  dry,  and  you  should  become 
sick,  which  makes  poisons  in  the  blood,  stagna- 
tion, making  a  new  matter  in  it,  which  strikes 
the  vital  forces,  and  there  causes  a  contention. 
Vitality  is  .all  the  while  trying  to  check  and 
throw  off  all  impurities,  and  keeps  the  bod}^  in 
a  continual  fight.  Fight  for  what?  To  main- 
tain its  ground  as  a  healthy  body.  I  com- 
menced the  hunt  when  but  a  child,  and  kept  it 
up  until  I  was  forty  years  old.  I  could  see  the 
action  of  electricity;  I  could  see  it  give  out 
lights  in  the  heavens  when  there  was  no  black- 
smith up  there  to  hammer  out  the  sparks.  I 
could  see  the  stars  flying  across  the  heavens  in 
1834 — firecrackers  in  heaven.  How  is  that  fire- 
cracker work  done?  Is  there  any  firecracker 
work  going  on  in  the  human  blood?  Where  is 
your  battery?  What  is  the  matter  with  your 
battery  when  you  have  fever?  What  is  fever? 
Oh,  the  eminent  authors  say  it  is  a  peculiar  in- 
crease of  temperature,  causes  unknown.     As  we 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL.  415 

don't  know  them,  we  will  give  them  a  name  so 
we  will  know  what  to  call  them.  We  will  name 
them  typhus,  typhoid,  malarial,  etc.,  according 
to  the  seasons  of  the  year.  We  name  them  ac- 
cording to  something.  They  have  a  system  of 
naming  them ;  we  call  it  symptomatology.  It 
is  a  species  of  anatomy  when  you  study  it.  You 
put  the  parts  all  together,  and  you  have  made  a 
something,  and  that  is  ci'oup.  You  put  in  some 
variations,  and  it  is  called  fever.  ,  Subtract  some- 
thing, and  put  in  two  or  three  other  kinds  of 
something,  and  you  have  pneumonia.  Subtract 
a  little  and  add  a  little,  and  you  have  flux. 
Subtract  four  and  add  two,  and  you  have  fits. 
The  doctor  has  treated  the  effect,  and  not  the 
cause;  therefore  it  has  been  necessary  to  make 
laws  in  their  favor. 

It  has  been  necessary  during  the  last  twenty 
years  to  fortify  against  individual  attacks  on  the 
system,  because  the  people  are  like  that  little 
girl.  They  know  how  many  bones  they  have  in 
their  wrist.  Forty  years  ago  it  was  not  supposed 
that  a  woman  knew  whether  she  had  one  bone 
above  the  elbow  or  one  hundred,  and  a  great 
many  could  not  tell.  She  could  not  train  her 
child  differently,  because  anatomy  to  her  was  a 
blank. 


416  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

During  the  last  twenty  years  there  has  been  a 
discussion  as  to  whether  we  will  be  benefited  by 
taking  any  grade  of  drugs,  or  if  it  would  not  be 
better  to  take  some  kind  of  diet.  We  have  diet- 
shops  in  America  and  in  Europe;  we  buy  and 
eat  from  both,  and  grunt  just  as  loud  as  if  we 
had  never  heard  of  either. 

Now  let  us  see  what  condition  man  is  in.  He 
occupies  all  the  zones  on  the  globe  except  a  few 
off  north,  and  we  are  going  to  have  them  occu- 
pied by  a  balloon  next  week. 

When  some  travel  they  must  have  some  pecul- 
iar kind  of  bread,  baked  on  a  large-legged  skil- 
let or  a  three-hundred-legged  skillet,  or  they  can- 
not exist.  What  are  the  health  resorts?  They 
are  places  supposed  to  have  certain  kinds  of  diet ; 
you  must  eat  a  certain  amount,  at  a  certain 
hour,  and  go  to  bed  at  a  certain  time.  In  Amer- 
ica we  go  to  bed  early  or  late,  eat  anything  we 
want,  and  all  we  want,  if  we  can  get  it.  We 
have  proven  here  that  the  health- grub  business 
is  not  necessary,  and  we  can  do  entirely  without 
it;  that  is,  the  system  of  eating  just  so-and-so 
or  you  will  die.  If  the  stomach  is  connected 
with  the  right  battery,  the  brain  and  the  nerves 
of  nutrition  are  working  right,  you  can  eat  a 
long-legged  frog  and  live  on  it ;   you  can  eat  dog 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  417 

and  thrive  on  it.  If  you  don't  believe  it,  just 
get  a  piece  of  beef  in  this  town,  and  if  you  can 
eat  it,  you  can  eat  anything.  The  wise  Archi- 
tect of  the  universe  put  that  mill  there  and  it 
will  grind  anything  that  is  nutritious.  This 
being  so,  there  is  not  much  use  for  your  big 
mills  to  grind  in  a  certain  way  as  for  you  to 
have  your  battery  and  machinery  so  they  can 
run  as  God  in  His  judgment  intended  when  He 
put  them  there.  We  find  that  He  is  competent 
and  knows  how  to  do  His  work,  and  when  He  has 
done  a  job,  you  can't  better  it. 

How  did  I  discover  Osteopathy?  Who  was 
with  me  when  I  discovered  it?  Who  assisted 
me  in  discovering  it?  I  will  give  one  hundred 
dollars  for  the  man's  photograph  who  has  added 
one  single  thought  to  it. 

I  took  the  position  in  1874  that  the  living 
blood  swarmed  with  health  corpuscles  to  all 
parts  of  the  body.  Interfere  with  that  current 
of  blood,  and  3'ou  steam  down  the  river  of  life 
and  land  in  the  ocean  of  death.  That  is  the  dis- 
covery. The  arteries  bring  the  blood  and  wash 
it  with  the  spirit  of  life.  The  living  arteries 
from  this  world.  It  fills  all  space  and  forms 
the  clouds.     If  God  is  competent  and  knows  His 

business,   He   has  certainly   made   a   good   job. 
27 


418  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

With  that  conclusion  shall  I  sustain  His  wisdom, 
and  try  to  work  the  machine  as  He  has  formu- 
lated it,  or  shall  I  cast  my  lot  with  the  dark 
shades  of  ignorance  and  superstition? 

When  I  raised  that  little  flag  (Osteopathy)  it 
was  not  a  very  large  one,  but  I  said  I  would 
swear  by  the  eternal  God  and  His  works  all  my 
life.  If  there  had  been  a  bombshell  thrown 
among  you  to-night,  it  would  create  no  greater 
consternation  than  I  did  when  I  declared  that 
God  was  no  drug  doctor.  They  wanted  me  to 
repent  before  it  was  everlastingly  too  late,  and 
thought  that  possibly  for  the  sake  of  my  father 
I  might  be  saved.  My  own  brothers  were  of  the 
opinion  that  I  was  going  to  the  d — 1  as  fast  as 
the  wheels  of  time  would  take  me.  What  was 
my  crime?  I  declared  that  God  was  wisdom 
and  His  works  a  success;  that  was  the  crime. 

My  brother  prayed  for  me,  and  I  worked  for 
him,  and  at  the  end  of  eighteen  years  he  came 
to  my  mourners'  bench.  Jacob  worked  seven 
years  for  his  wife;  I  eighteen  for  my  brother. 
He  comes  now  and  says:  "It  is  the  greatest 
blessing  ever  bequeathed  to  mankind." 

In  1874,  my  honorable  brother,  whose  word  is 
worth  all  the  gold  that  he  could  carry  on  his 
back,  honestly  believed   that  I  had   one  foot  in 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  419 

h — 1,  and  he  would  have  to  catch  me  by  the 
coat-tail  and  jerk  me  out.  I  told  him  that  God 
blessed  no  such  things  as  quinine,  morphine, 
opium,  whisky,  or  fly-blisters.  He  said  to  me, 
"You  are  talking  wild  ;  I  advise  you  to  quit  that 
right  now.  There  is  great  danger  of  your  being 
lost." 

Time  passed  on,  and  after  a  little  while  he 
said : 

"  I  would  like  to  talk  a  little  about  this  mat- 
ter. How  do  you  account  for  fever?  How  do 
you  account  for  a  cold  head?"     I  said: 

"In  proportion  to  the  velocity  with  which  the 
heart  brings  the  electricity  that  is  generated  in 
the  brain,  the  temperature  is  high  or  low."  He 
said,  "I  have  a  pain  in  my  side,  and  have  been 
thinking  of  taking  a  little  quinine  and  Dover's 
powders."  I  said  to  him,  "If  you  will  stand 
here  for  a  moment,  I  think  I  can  stop  it.  It 
is  my  opinion  that  the  vena  azygos  major  has 
failed  to  disgorge  in  time."  I  gave  him  a  treat- 
ment which  disgorged  the  blood,  and  the  man 
was  at  ease.  I  then  said,  "If  you  think  you  are 
converted,  I  will  baptize  you  now."  He  was  a 
graduate  from  a  Chicago  university  of  medicine. 
I  asked  him  if  he  had  not  studied  there  some  about 
the  brain  force  and  nerves?     He  answered,  "Not 


420  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

in  that  way!"  "Now,  when  you  give  a  dose  of 
quinine,  what  do  you  address  it  to?  Is  it  to  the 
circulation  of  the  blood?  What  do  you  expect 
to  do?  Contract  the  blood  vessels  and  force  the 
blood  to  run  faster?  Do  you  intend  to  contract 
or  enlarge  them?"  "I  believe,"  he  says,  "that 
the  effect  is  possibly  to  contract  them,  though  I 
haven't  given  much  thought  on  that  subject. 
It  may  possibly  strike  the  cerebellum,  and  force 
the  blood  with  greater  power  through  arterial 
circulation." 

"Did  it  ever  occur  to  your  mind  when  both 
mules  didn't  go  up  the  hill,  that  one  was  pulling 
downward?  How  would  it  do  to  turn  both  tails 
uphill?  The  battery  of  life,  the  motor  force,  is 
throwing  the  blood  from  the  heart  through  the 
arteries,  but  it  is  not  carried  back  in  the  right 
shape,  and  it  becomes  blocked  by  the  veins. 
You  put  your  quinine  and  opium  in  there,  and 
the  vein  opens  its  mouth  and  the  blood  goes  on 
and  the  circuit  is  made.  As  soon  as  completed, 
force  of  electricity  throws  it  out,  and  he  feels 
better." 

You  asked  me  to  talk  to  you  on  this  anniver- 
sary occasion,  and  I  am  talking  plainly.  I  love 
God.  What  do  I  love  Him  for?  Because  I  can- 
not find  any  contradictions  when  I  examine  His 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  431 

works.  The  risiag  of  the  sun  is  to  be  depended 
on.  Take  the  eclipse  the  other  day ;  mathemat- 
ics told  us  to  a  fiftieth  part  of  a  second  when  it 
would  occur.  Read  your  papers  and  see  if  that 
is  not  correct.  When  did  they  tell  us?  Twelve 
months  ago.  The  mathematics  of  heaven  are 
perfectly  trustworthy.  The  comets  make  their 
time,  and  are  back  from  their  circuit  when  they 
promise  to  be.  The  earth  goes  round  the  sun  on 
time  to  a  minute.  If  she  should  stop  to  talk 
politics,  it  would  jerk  your  head  off.  I  love  God 
because  His  works  are  perfect  and  trustworthy, 
does  not  need  any  help,  and  did  not  make  man's 
stomach  to  be  a  slop-pail  for  any  dopes  or  pills, 
big  or  little.  I  love  Him  who  makes  pure  blood 
by  His  machine,  takes  dead  matter  and  imbues  it 
with  living  force  from  crude  material,  and  it  be- 
comes a  working  muscle.  I  love  Him  because  He 
can  put  the  sight  in  your  body,  hearing,  sense  of 
touch — in  fact,  all  the  five  senses,  and  about  five 
hundred  other  kinds  of  senses  on  top  of  them.  I 
love  Him  because  He  is  a  photographer.  What 
does  He  photograph?  Your  mind  is  a  sensitive 
plate,  and  every  word  that  is  said  is  photo- 
graphed there,  and  when  you  want  to  look  at 
them  you  raise  up  the  glass;  you  call  that  mem- 
ory.    The  sensitive  plate  takes  up  your  dreams 


422  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

and  visions.  That  is  as  old  as  time.  Some  of 
us  do  not  have  to  go  to  sleep  to  see  visions. 

I  am  glad  to  meet  you  here  on  my  birthday. 
I  do  not  expect  to  have  many  more  such  celebra- 
tions. I  am  now  sixty-nine  years  old  ;  next  year 
makes  seventy.  My  father  died  at  seventy-one, 
my  mother  at  eighty-nine.  As  long  as  I  live  I 
shall  be  an  uncompromising  defender  of  Oste- 
opathy. I  don't  need  much  of  it  myself,  as  I 
am  pretty  well,  but  for  the  sake  of  the  cripples 
I  will  try  and  give  a  few  lessons  as  to  how  often 
they  should  take  treatment  and  when  to  quit.  I 
hope  for  a  brilliant  future  for  Osteopathy.  When 
I  am  dead,  if  I  get  to  come  back  here,  I  expect 
to  see  Osteopathy  ahead  of  all  other  "pathies," 
and  men  growing  up  with  better  minds,  brains, 
nerves,  and  better  all  over. 

I  thank  you  for  your  attention. 


CHAPTEE   XXXI. 

A  Business  Allegory — My  First  Life  a  Business  Failure — Seek- 
ing Success — The  Parson's  Advice — Investing  in  a  Saw- 
mill— Self-reliance — A  Soliloquy — Asleep  Under  the  Tree 
—The  Ram — Up  a  Tree — Legs  as  Well  as  Head  Necessary 
to  Success — The  Labeled  Tree — Label  of  Success — Hovr  to 
Succeed  in  Business — A  Great  Financier — A  Dream  and 
Its  Realization — The  Wife  Appeals  in  Vain — That  Blessed 
Ram  to  the  Rescue. — Knocked  from  the  Top  of  an  Unpaid- 
for  Ten -Thousand-Dollar  House — The  Ram  Speaks. 

In  this,  my  first  life,  it  will  be  seen  that  I  was 
not  successful  as  a  business  man.  Everything  I 
tried  for  many  years  was  a  failure.  I  lost  all 
my  means  and  time,  and  all  I  had  to  show  was 
that  I  had  made  another  failure.  I  thought  I 
must  keep  trying.  I  came  to  a  place  in  the  road 
of  life,  one  going  to  the  right,  and  the  other  to  the 
left.  I  halted  with  the  people,  who  stood  in  a 
very  large  crowd  at  the  forks  of  the  road,  to  ask 
which  of  them  led  to  success.  In  one  common 
yell,  all  said : 

"Any  of  us  can  tell  you  all  about  the  roads  to 
success."  I  asked  the  host  what  it  would  cost 
me  to  get  an  opinion  from  each  one  of  them. 
The  answer  was,  "  It  will  cost  you  nothing  at  pres- 


424  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

ent  but  your  time,  as  we  are  willing  to  give 
opinions. "  I  was  not  very  well  impressed  at  first, 
on  account  of  the  poorly  clad  condition  most  of 
them  were  in.  Finally  a  very  well-dressed,  gen- 
tlemanly looking  man  stepped  forward  and  said : 

"  I  am  a  minister,  and  advise  you  to  take  that 
road,"  pointing  to  the  right.  "However,  I  will 
ask  you  about  your  financial  conditions.  Have 
you  any  money  at  your  command?"  I  told  him 
I  had  a  small  amount,  which  was  but  a  few  hun- 
dred dollars.  And  he  said,  "Come  right  along 
with  me."  I  asked  no  questions,  as  I  had  found 
"a  man  of  God,"  and  away  I  went — after  the 
usual  amount  of  squatting  and  flattery,  in  which 
he  told  me  that  just  such  a  great  and  good  man 
as  I  was  would  be  a  great  benefit  in  his  com- 
munity. 

It  being  Saturday  afternoon,  he  asked  me  to 
stay  over  Sabbath,  rest,  and  go  to  church  with 
him,  as  he  would  fill  the  pulpit.  Oh,  how  good 
I  felt !  I  felt  that  I  had  gotten  with  a  brother. 
He  told  the  sexton  to  give  nie  the  very  best  seat 
in  the  church.  My  heart  heaved  and  leaped 
with  joy.  The  services  were  opened  with  music. 
I  enjoyed  the  melodies,  and  almost  wished  I  was 
dead  and  in  heaven,  and  could  listen  to  such 
music  all  the  time. 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL.  425 

By  this  time  I  began  to  feel  my  unworthiness 
by  the  bushel,  and  as  the  minister  passed  by  me, 
I  asked  him  to  pray  for  my  successes.  And  all 
he  said  was,  "God  bless  you,  brother!"  After 
singing,  he  proceeded  to  the  services  with  prayer, 
in  which  he  thanked  God  for  our  good  govern- 
ment, our  peace,  and  power  to  keep  peace  with 
all  nations,  or  fight  if  they  preferred  it.  He 
thanked  God  for  the  crops,  good  health,  and 
schools,  and  says,  "O  Lord,  we  are  ashamed 
and  truly  sorry  that  we  have  to  preach  the  gos- 
pel in  such  a  poorly  constructed  and  provided 
church-house  as  this.  Thou  knowest  it  is  a 
shame  and  a  disgrace  on  the  people  to  even  think 
or  call  this  'the  house  of  God.'  Bless  our  souls. 
Amen!" 

I  did  not  feel  the  hint,  or  see  the  rabbit's  foot 
yet.  He  opened  the  Bible,  and  like  a  magic  slam 
it  opened  to  that  good  old  verse,  •'  Blessed  is  the 
cheerful  giver."  He  smiled  at  me  just  as  sweet, 
and  says,  "  We  are  very  much  in  need,  and  must 
have  money."  He  told  the  sexton  to  pass  around 
the  hat,  gave  him  a  wink  and  a  nod.  He  roared 
and  snorted  about  the  blessings  that  belong  to 
the  "cheerful  giver,"  and  smiled  at  me  again. 

I  thought,  as  I  was  a  stranger  in  the  commu- 
nity, I  would  do  ten  times  better  than  I  had  been 


426  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL. 

in  the  habit  of  doing  at  home,  and  tumbled  into 
the  hat  a  whole  silver  dollar.  The  sexton  says, 
"Humph!  we  are  building  a  church,  and  ex- 
pected better  things  of  you."  I  began  to  reason 
on  the  grounds  of  my  limited  means.  At  this 
time  the  minister  pointed  his  finger  at  a  trained 
sister,  who  hallooed,  "Hallelujah,"  which  proved 
to  be  the  signal  for  a  general  move  of  all  the  sis- 
ters, both  old  and  young,  to  "pull  my  leg"  for 
more  money ;  and  they  got  the  last  cent  I  had 
with  me,  which  was  ten  dollars. 

By  this  time  the  "rabbit's  foot"  was  in  plain 
view.     In  a  low  whisper  I  said,  "Sold  again." 

I  walked  out  into  the  big  common  road  of  life 
for  another  journey.  I  traveled  on  and  on, 
until  I  came  to  the  forks  of  this  road.  Here  I 
found  another  very  large  congregation.  They 
had  in  their  hands  hammers,  monkey-wrenches, 
chisels,  files,  and  various  kinds  of  implements.  I 
greeted  them  as  an  inquiring  stranger  should. 
By  one  common  voice  they  cried,  "Come  into  the 
crowd  and  sit  on  a  log  with  us."  I  told  them  I 
was  an  explorer  and  in  search  of  success,  and 
had  been  told  there  was  a  storehouse  some  place 
in  this  direction,  in  which  it  could  be  purchased. 

A  very  dignified  gentleman  says,  "  This  is  the 
place  you  are  hunting  for,"  and  asks,  "  What  kind 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  427 

of  business  do  you  wish  to  do?"  To  which  I  an- 
swered, "  Any  honorable  business  in  which  a  la- 
borer can  make  a  living  for  a  small  family."  A 
solid -looking,  middle-aged  man  says,  "We  need 
a  sawmill  in  this  country,  and  have  met  and 
arranged  to  send  off  to  purchase  an  engine,  saw, 
and  all  necessary  machinery  to  cut  lumber."  He 
asked  me  this  question,  "  Are  you  a  man  of  capi- 
tal?" •  I  told  him  I  had  a  few  hundred  dollars. 
He  said,  "  We  lack  $40D  of  having  enough  to  send 
for  them  immediately."  Something  said,  "Keep 
out  of  the  mills  and  engines,  unless  you  are  a 
skilled  engineer,  and  can  do  everything  to  repair 
and  keep  the  macliine  in  motion."  They  insisted 
that  I  should  invest.  I  hesitated,  because  that  was 
all  the  money  I  had  on  earth.  A  talky  little  fel- 
low said  to  me  it  would  be  wisdom  to  invest,  and 
as  he  expected  some  money  within  thirty  days,  as 
soon  as  the  saw  cut  the  first  line  he  would  pay 
me  $800  for  my  stock  in  the  mill  company.  I 
put  my  money  in  at  once,  and  all  aboard  for  the 
lumber  cutting. 

The  mill  was  sent  for,  arrived,  set  up,  a  log 
rolled  on,  a  line  was  cut,  and  many  lines  were 
cut.  I  looked  around  for  my  little  man,  and  felt 
I  would  take  my  money  and  go  home.  I  in- 
quired for  him,  and  was  told  he  had  been  in  the 


428  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

calaboose  a  week  for  getting  drunk,  and  would 
be  there  and  in  the  county  jail  sixty  days  to  pay 
a  fine  assessed  against  him  for  violating  city 
ordinances. 

Not  discouraged,  I  told  others  I  would  take 
the  same  proposition  that  the  little  man  had 
made  me,  as  I  wanted  to  go  home.  One  of 
them  said:  "In  about  a  week  I  will  purchase 
your  claim  if  my  money  comes,  as  I  expect  it 
will."  I  engaged  to  work  for  my  board  until 
his  money  came. 

A  number  of  the  partners  of  this  mill  drank 
to  some  extent.  They  had  set  Tuesday  night  as 
a  kind  of  a  dedicatory  jollity.  All  got  very 
happy,  and  went  to  their  respective  homes  full 
of  beer,  and  the  engineer  was  so  full  that  he  for- 
got or  neglected  to  close  the  furnace.  There 
was  quite  a  gale  of  wind  that  night,  and  blew 
sparks  of  fire  into  some  shavings  and  sawdust, 
which  spread  from  place  to  place,  until  all  the 
machinery  was  consumed  by  fire,  with  saw  and 
carriages  all  ruined. 

I  felt  at  this  time  there  was  no  "rabbit's  foot" 
in  the  game,  and  said  to  myself:  "The  man  of 
God  got  my  ten  dollars,  and  alcohol,  beer,  and 
confidence  got  the  rest."  I  was  afoot  and  alone, 
without  a  penny  to  feed  my  wife  and  babies. 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL.  429 

So  ended  my  first  life  as  a  business  "fool."  I 
did  as  the  people  advised,  without  exercising  any 
of  my  own  powers  of  reason,  until  I  became  a 
mental  dwarf,  which  required  many  years  to 
overcome. 

The  greatest  struggle  of  all  my  life  was  to 
have  confidence,  and  realize  that  God  had  put 
into  each  man  the  brain  and  all  the  business 
qualities  to  make  him  a  good  living,  with  plenty 
for  those  depending  upon  his  services,  provided 
he  would  make  good  use  of  his  gifts.  Attend  to 
one  thing  at  a  time,  and  that  one  thing  all  the 
time. 

These  are  my  experimental  allegories. 

In  the  first  part  of  my  life  it  will  be  seen  by 
the  reader  I  was  young  and  inexperienced  in 
choosing  pursuits  in  which  I  could  succeed.  I 
grew  up,  believing  that  in  "council  there  was 
safety."  I  felt  the  lack  of  experience,  and 
wished  to  learn  all  I  could  from  older  persons. 
It  was  my  desire  to  live  an  honest  and  industri- 
ous life.  I  did  not  think  for  many  long  years 
that  my  failures  were  due  to  a  lack  of  self-reli- 
ance. But  at  last  I  lost  all  confidence  in  myself, 
and  took  advice  not  matured  to  suit  my  case.  I 
never  thought  wise  men  had  to  take  time  to  ma- 
ture a  business  plan,  but  supposed  they  were  full, 


430  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A    T.  STILL. 

and  could  unload  at  any  time  for  my  benefit,  if  I 
only  asked  them. 

Then  I  thought  it  might  help  me  some  if  I 
would  dress  better.  With  that  idea  front  I  got 
a  new  hat,  but  no  change  for  the  better  was  ap- 
parent. I  shaved ;  all  was  the  same  in  results. 
I  even  went  so  far  as  to  black  my  boots,  but  no 
star  of  hope  appeared  to  me.  So  I  did  not  come 
out  on  dress  parade  any  more,  and  all  was  dark 
again. 

No  money,  no  friends  on  earth,  and  the  minis- 
ter told  me  there  was  great  danger  of  me  meet- 
ing Peter  in  a  bad  humor  about  the  little  ten 
dollars  I  had  so  grudgingly  given  to  the  church 
committee,  whom  I  had  called  "rabbit's  feet," 
when  they  only  got  ten  after  all  that  prayer, 
preach,  and  parade.  I  felt  the  show  was  slim 
for  me  to  get  into  heaven  if  he  was  mad  about 
the  money.  So  I  pulled  out  again  for  the  big 
road.  Had  not  traveled  far  until  I  got  a  small 
bug  in  one  of  my  eyes,  and  it  scratched  and 
kicked,  made  and  kept  it  sore  so  long,  that  I 
got  to  believe  one  eye  would  answer  if  I  would 
use  it.  I  began  to  look  with  it  the  best  I  could. 
I  traveled  on  and  on  in  the  dim  road  of  hope, 
met  many  persons  at  forks  of  roads,  but  as  I 
could  use  but  one  eye,  I  thought  I  could  see  the 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL  431 

"rabbit's  foot  of  deception  for  sale"  at  ever}' 
fork  of  the  road.  As  I  had  no  money  I  could 
purchase  no  more,  and  had  to  travel  many  tire- 
some miles  alone.  Tremblingly  I  sank  to  rest  in 
the  shade  of  a  tree,  and  soliloquized. 

Do  you  realize  that  when  man  has  done  the 
best  he  can  and  failed  at  every  turn,  and  hope 
has  been  torn  from  his  horizon  as  by  a  cyclone 
with  all  its  fury,  his  heart  falls  as  stone  from 
the  temple  of  life,  and  he  turns  from  the  joys  of 
hope,  and  hates  their  flattering  tongues,  and  their 
sweet  syllables  are  to  him  as  bitter  as  gall?  And 
he  contemplates  joy  only  in  the  thought  of  death. 
He  feels  that  all  the  gates  of  love  are  shut  and 
forever  barred  to  him  and  his  dear  ones.  Love 
turns  to  hatred,  even  of  his  own  life.  He  gives 
up,  and  looks  on  to  and  for  death,  and  builds 
many  temples  of  mind,  and  feels  that  death,  an- 
nihilation, or  anything  but  life  would  be  a  glori- 
ous change  for  him.  He  cries  when  he  should 
laugh,  hates  when  he  should  love.  He  feels  that 
the  battle  of  life  is  lost,  and  he  and  his  are  cap- 
tives, and  life  will  be  perpetual  servitude. 

He  is  only  as  a  vessel  on  the  surging  waves  of 
an  enraged  sea,  drifting  to  the  twisting  throat 
of  a  whirlpool  that  swallows  and  safely  hides  all 
its  victims  at  the  bottom  of  an  unexplored  abyss ; 


432  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

in  whose  stomach  dies  all  hope  and  aspiration  for 
him  who  would  do  and  die  for  a  just  life,  and  has 
had  all  the  dead  limbs  of  adversity  fall  on  him 
and  cross  his  path,  each  day,  hour,  and  minute  of 
his  life,  when  just  in  sight  of  those  whose  roads 
are  eternally  blooming  with  roses  of  sweetest 
perfume — fields  and  herds  growing,  and  sup- 
plying all  that  the  heart  of  man  could  ask, 
and  no  outer  signs  of  superior  gifts,  only 
success. 

That  success  came  to  him.  How,  unknown. 
He  and  his  have  all  the  joys  of  this  life,  and  me 
and  mine  all  the  sorrow  of  a  bitter  world,  and 
never  allowed  to  taste  a  morsel  of  joy  that  seems 
to  come  in  my  sight,  and  dwells  only  to  heap 
misery  on  losses,  and  keeps  my  face  an  open  play- 
ground for  the  hyenas  of  my  flesh  as  they  eat 
and  laugh  at  my  falls,  so  close  to  each  other, 
that  all  the  days  of  my  life  can  be  counted  by 
ones  into  many  thousands. 

As  I  sit  here,  drink  and  redrink  from  that  cup 
that  has  never  leaked  a  drop  of  sorrow  that  did 
not  fall  on  me  some  place  so  as  to  enter  the  river 
that  reached  my  heart,  and  shut  my  welcome  to 
even  a  few  minutes'  rest  and  slumber  in  the 
shade  of  this  lonely  tree,  which  may  be  claimed 
by   some   powerful  animal,   that   may   find   me 


AN    OLD   RAM    OF    GREAT   POWER    HIT    ME    A    JOLT    ON    THE    SIDE   OF 
THE    HEAD. 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 


433 


while  asleep  under  its  foliage,   and   almost  kill 
me.     I  dare  not  ask  even  the  angels  to  watch 


fs    -M 


THE    RAM    OP    REASON. 


while  I  sleep.     But  nature  has  failed  me  so  far 

that  I  must  sleep,  even  though  it  be  the  sleep  of 

death. 

While  in  that  sleep  I  dreamed  that  an  old  ram 

of  great  power  hit  me  a  jolt  on  the  side  of  the 
28 


434  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

head,  and  sprawled  me  full  length.  I  awoke, 
and  looking  around,  found  it  was  no  dream,  but 
a  reality,  as  he  was  backing  out  to  jolt  me  again. 
But  he  had  put  so  much  electricity  in  my  head 
and  legs  that  I  jumped  up  the  tree  like  a  kan- 
garoo. 

Then  I  began  to  realize  that  a  man  must  use 
his  head  and  legs  if  he  wants  to  succeed  in  any 
enterprise. 

I  went  higher  and  higher  in  the  tree  of  safety. 
My  attention  was  drawn  to  many  labels  that 
were  made  of  all  known  materials — gold,  sil- 
ver, platinum,  iron,  shells  of  the  sea,  skins  of 
animals,  horns  and  teeth  of  beasts.  One  was 
written  in  letters  of  gold  and  fastened  around 
the  trunk  of  the  tree,  and  the  inscription  was, 
"  This  is  the  tree  of  Knowledge,  in  whose  shade 
all  persons  have  received  that  instruction  that 
was  necessary  to  each  individual's  success  in  life, 
without  which  no  man  has  ever  succeeded." 

All  labels,  except  the  one  that  girdled  the 
tree,  were  provided  with  a  ring  to  drop  over  a 
hook,  made  so  for  the  purpose  that  they 
might  be  taken  off  and  read  by  all  inquiring 
explorers. 

They  were  arranged  in  alphabetical  order,  and 
their  numbers  ran  into  countless  thousands.     As 


I    AWOKE    AND    FOUND    IT    NO    DREAM. 


I    WENT    UNTIL    I    FOUND   THE   LABEL   S. 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  435 

I  was  in  great  trouble,  and  ray  name  was  An- 
drew, I  read  many  labels  marked  A,  but  none 
suited  my  case.  I  went  on  and  on  until  I  found 
the  labels  of  S.  The  first  read,  ^^  Success  is  the 
reward  of  personal  effort  and  confidence  in  self 
to  solve  all  problems  of  life.  Self  in  front.  Self 
in  all  battles,  and  at  the  head  of  command.  Se- 
crecy. Seclusion  during  conception,  develop- 
ment, and  birth  of  all  plans  of  business  life." 

I  thought  this  label  would  do  for  me,  as  my 
name  was  "Still,"  and  I  took  a  copy  and  have 
followed  it,  lo!  these  many  years.  And  by  it  I 
have  succeeded  beyond  all  I  could  see  or  wish 
for,  before  that  day  when  the  ram  of  Energy 
drove  me  up  the  tree  of  Knowledge  to  read  the 
label  that  was  there  for  me, 

I  would  advise  all  men  and  women  to  travel 
to  that  tree,  stop  and  take  a  sleep,  and  leave 
your  burdens  of  life,  for  I  am  sure  you  will 
find  a  label  that  will  tell  you  what  limb  of  the 
great  tree  of  knowledge  has  the  fruit  of  success 
for  you. 

If  you  desire  to  be  a  politician,  look  through 
the  labels  of  P,  and  if  you  find  you  have  the 
kinds  of  sense  necessary,  copy  the  label  and  drive 
for  politics.  If  not,  go  back  to  F.  You  may 
have  a  very  fine  head  for  a  fiddler.     That  tree 


436  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

is  free  to  all,  and  the  ram  will  soon  teach  you  to 
climb. 

If  you  think  you  should  be  a  doctor,  I  would 
advise  you  to  trot  to  the  shade-tree  at  once,  and 
if  you  are  not  sleepy,  just  feign  sleep,  and  the 
ram  will  soon  make  squirrels'  legs  of  3'ours,  and 
send  you  into  the  top  of  the  tree  of  labels  among 
the  letter  D,  to  read  all  about  doctors,  dopes, 
drinks,  drugs,  and  dead  folks. 

If  you  want  a  wife,  turn  to  W.  See  first  if 
she  wants  you,  is  willing  to  work  hard  for  you, 
take  in  washing,  and  let  you  sit  in  the  shade  and 
have  a  good  time  talking  about  woman's  suf- 
frage or  suffering,  just  as  your  mother  has  suf- 
fered all  your  lazy  life,  as  her  furrowed  brow 
plainly  shows.  Let  "wife"  alone  if  you  haven't 
the  wealth  or  will  to  help  her  wash  or  weep. 

There  are  many  useful  places  waiting  to  be 
filled.  Because  you  have  but  one  leg  and  can- 
not dance,  don't  get  discouraged  and  give  up. 
You  often  have  more  good  sense  in  your  head 
than  ten  dancers  and  four  darkies  with  their 
banjos.  Courage  and  good  sense  are  the  horns 
that  scatter  hay  for  the  calves  to  eat.  Courage 
is  the  gem  that  will  set  off  your  bosom,  and 
thousands  will  ask  you  where  you  got  it  and 
what  it  cost,  and  say  they  wish  their  sons  had 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  437 

more  wisdom  in  their  heads  and  less  dance  in 
their  heels. 

I  found  very  high  in  the  tree  of  knowledge 
among  its  branches  one  large  and  brilliant  label, 
written  in  all  languages  (hieroglyphics  not  ex- 
cepted), that  success  does  not  come  to  a  person 
from  reading  labels  that  are  written  in  golden 
letters  (raised  or  depressed),  the  hows  to  proceed, 
or  the  whys  that  man  does  not  succeed  in  busi- 
ness enterprises.  But  the  secret  lies,  after  hav- 
ing chosen  a  suitable  profession,  to  load  yourself 
with  energy,  fire  up  with  the  blazes  of  execution, 
and  never  allow  your  boiler  to  cool  down  until 
you  shall  have  executed  that  which  you  set  out 
to  accomplish,  with  the  determination  to  look 
neither  to  the  right,  left,  nor  rear,  but  keep  your 
eye  forever  front.  Oil  and  fire  up  the  engines 
of  ambition  and  energy  to  an  increased  speed, 
until  you  arrive  at  the  station  of  success,  found 
only  at  the  end  of  your  own  individual  effort. 
This  is  the  great  compass  and  magnetic  needle 
that  safely  delivers  all  seekers  of  success. 

My  successes  have  produced  on  me  the  feeling 
that  I  am  a  great  financier  and  a  great  business 
man.  I  can  put  my  hand  on  much  more  money 
which  is  my  own  than  I  have  hoped  to  be  able 
to  do.     I  have  money  by  the  dollar,  hundreds  of 


438  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL. 

dollars,  even  up  to  a  few  thousands.  It  is  my 
money,  and  I  know  it  is,  for  I  have  paid  the  last 
farthing  I  owe  to  any  man  on  earth.  This  is  my 
money,  and  I  want  the  world  to  know  that  under 
any  construction  of  laws,  business,  or  justice,  it 
is  mine.  I  feel  that  the  unfortunate  ought  to 
ask  my  advice  first  of  all  men,  because  I  am  suc- 
cessful. I  believe  I  can  successfully  enter  any 
financial  combat  and  come  out  triumphant, 

I  am  looking  at  myself  as  an  able,  cautious 
business  general.  I  feel  that  way  because  I  have 
the  dollars  to  show,  which  is  certainly  nine  points 
in  any  philosopher's  conclusion.  I  feel  proud  of 
the  idea  that  I  can  and  will  be  one  of  the  great- 
est philanthropic  men  of  the  past  or  coming  days. 

With  this  feeling  I  took  another  sleep,  and 
while  in  that  slumber  I  saw  many  business  se- 
curity bonds  and  notes  for  indorsement,  for 
which  I  held  the  ready  pen  to  sign.  I  awoke  the 
following  morning,  and  before  I  had  tasted  my 
early  breakfast  coffee  the  door-bells  rang  on  all 
sides,  the  doors  were  opened,  and  the  house  filled 
with  a  great  number  of  persons  wishing  to  go 
into  different  kinds  of  speculation,  and  asked  me 
to  assist  them  in  their  enterprises  by  indorsing 
their  bonds  and  notes.  My  wife  being  a  very 
cautious  woman,  and  from  sad  experience  know- 


'STAND   ASIDE,  LADY,  AND  I'LL  ATTEND  TO   THOSE   NOTES." 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  439 

ing  the  danger  of  going  securities,  begged  and 
pleaded  with  me  to  indorse  for  no  man,  for  such 
business  had  caused  her  father  to  die  with  the 
word  "remorse"  on  his  tongue.  He  had  been 
robbed  and  ruined  by  just  such  characters.  She 
pleaded  with  me  to  keep  my  signature  from  any 
paper  in  Avhich  I  was  not  interested. 

As  I  had  been  raised  to  believe  that  the  man 
was  the  head  of  the  family  and  that  the  wife 
should  ask  instead  of  give  advice,  I  asked  her  to 
retire  from  the  room  and  permit  me  to  transact 
my  own  business,  as  I  was  a  great  financier. 
She  refused  to  go,  and  "insisted  there  was  great 
danger  of  ruin.  She  argued  that  when  security 
was  given  there  was  but  one  paymaster,  and  that 
was  the  innocent  and  blind  subscriber  to  such 
notes  and  bonds,  and  if  I  did  sign  those  papers 
we  were  ruined.  I  said  I  knew  what  I  was 
doing,  and  that  those  men  whose  security  I  was 
about  to  go  were  good  and  responsible.  At  this 
time  she  sank  to  the  floor  in  despair,  and  I  heard 
a  shrill  voice  addressing  her  with : 

"Stand  aside,  lady,  and  I  will  attend  to  those 
notes."  I  looked  over  my  shoulder  and  saw  the 
face  of  that  blessed  ram  again,  "  which  had  chas- 
tened whom  he  did  love."  He  said:  "Throw 
down  that  pen.     I  will  allow  no  such  business. 


440  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

Your  wife  is  right,  and  if  she  cannot  reason 
with  yon,  I  will  do  some  very  necessary  jolting. 
I  will  jolt  every  man  that  presents  a  note  to  you 
to  sign,  in  which  you  have  no  money  or  interest, 
and  jolt  you  as  a  reminder  of  past  days." 

This  blessed  ram  of  business  disappeared  for  a 
season,  and  I  saw  no  more  of  him  until  he  sent 
me  from  the  roof  of  a  three-story  $20,000  build- 
ing by  his  powerful  head  of  business  forethought. 
When  I  landed  on  the  hard  ground  I  murmured 
at  the  mean  treatment  of  the  sheep,  and,  glanc- 
ing my  eye  upward,  saw  him  looking  at  me  from 
the  roof  of  the  house.  He  said :  "  Shut  up  your 
growling."  I  asked:  "Can  a  dumb  brute  talk?" 
He  answered :  "  Knowest  thou  not  that  an  ass  did 
speak  Hebrew,  and  did  counsel  and  advise  with 
the  Jews?     I  speak  English." 

Then  I  asked  why  he  had  knocked  me  off  the 
house  and  hurt  me  so  badly,  and  he  said:  "It  is 
because  you  have  lied."  "If  I  have  lied,  I  am 
not  aware  of  it,  and  would  like  to  know  wherein 
I  have." 

He  said:  "You  were  telling  this  friend  with 
you  that  you  owned  this  house,  when  you  know 
it  is  covered  all  over  with  mortgages  more  than 
it  is  worth. 

"  These  mortgages  were  made  to  obtain  money 


IT    IS    BECAUSE    YOU    HAVE    LIED." 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL.  441 

with  which  to  buy  silk,  diamonds,  buggies,  bi- 
cycles, and  an  innumerable  host  of  other  useless 
purchases.  In  truth,  you  do  not  own  one  cent 
within  this  house  at  the  present  time.  I  have 
punched  you  off  to  remind  you  that  you  are  not 
the  wonderful  financier  you  have  supposed  your- 
self to  be.  I  have  given  you  these  punches  to 
remind  you  that  you  have  not  accumulated  a  sav- 
ing amount  of  business  caution  to  protect  your 
financial  successes.  Now  I  want  this  to  be  the 
last  occasion  that  I  will  have  to  thump  you." 


CHAPTER  XXXII. 

The  Muscles — Brain  Headquarters — The  Army  of  Muscles — 
The  Secret  of  God — How  to  Live  Long  and  Loud — Time 
Coming  for  Big  Dinners — Command  to  Eat — Off  to  the 
Country — Osteopathy  Cures  Seasickness — Country  Friends 
— Quiet  and  Shady — Explaining  the  Cause  of  Lumbago — 
Tired  Nature  Seeks  Reix)se. 

Through  the  kindness  of  Funk  &  W agnails 
Company,  of  New  York,  we  are  permitted  this 
elaborate  cut,  which  shows  about  one-fourth  of 
the  muscles  of  the  human  body,  each  of  which  is 
a  useful  servant  in  performing  the  labors  of  life. 
I  give  place  to  those  beautiful  pictures  of  some  of 
the  parts  of  that  greatest  of  all  known  machines, 
who  bears  the  name  of  man.  Will  those  of  you 
who  have  not  had  the  chance  to  study  anatomy 
in  schools  or  otherwise  please  look  for  a  few 
minutes  and  see  the  shapes  of  a  few  muscles; 
see  how  nicely  they  are  formed  and  properly 
placed  to  do  the  great  duties  they  have  to  per- 
form in  life?  You  see  they  have  great  strength, 
and  all  equal  to  the  duties  they  have  to  discharge. 
If  you  look  all  over  the  being  from  head  to  foot, 
you  find  braces  at  all  parts  of  the  body,  and  they 


Muscular  System  of  Man. 

1.  Frontal.  2.  Orbicularis  palpebrarum.  3.  Zygomaticus  minor.  4.  Zy^omaticus  major.  5.  Temporal.  C.  Levator  labii 
superioris.  7.  Levator  labii  superioris  alaeque  nasi.  8.  Compressor  narium.  9.  Orbicularis  oris.  10.  Depressor  labii  inferioris. 
11.  Buccinator.  12.  Platysma.  13.  Sternoclidomastoid.  14.  Sternohyoid.  15.  Trachea.  16.  Scaleni.  17.  Trapezius.  18.  Oc- 
cipitalis. 19.  Masseter.  20.  Splenius  capitis.  21.  Splenius  colli.  22.  Levator  anKuli  scapulae.  23.  Snpraspinatus.  24.  Infra- 
spmatus.  25.  Khomboideus.  26.  Teres  minor.  27.  Teres  major.  28.  Deltoid.  29.  Subclavius.  30.  Intercostal.  31.  Pectoralis 
major.  32.  Pectoralis  minor.  33.  Serratus  magnus.  34.  Latissimus  dorsi.  35.  Biceps  of  the  arm.  35'.  hong  head  of  same. 
35'  ,  Short  head  of  same.  3C.  Coracobrachialis.  37.  Triceps.  38.  Pronator  radii  teres.  39.  Flexor  carpi  radialis.  40.  Palmaria 
lon^s.  41.  Supinator  longus.  42.  Extensor  carpi  radialis  longior.  43.  Extensor  ossis  metacarpi  polliiis.  44.  Extensor  tendon 
of  little  finger.  45.  Annular  ligament  of  wrist.  46.  Abductor  pollicis.  47.  Flexor  brevis  pojlicis.  48.  Palmaris  brevis.  49.  Ex- 
tensor tendon  of  middle  finger.  60.  Rectus  abdominis.  50'.  Sheath  of  same.  51.  Navel.  52.  External  oblique  of  abdomen.  53. 
Internal  oblique  of  abdomen.  64.  Poupart's  ligament.  55.  Inguinal  canal.  56.  Serratus  posticus  inferior.  57.  Crest  of  the  ilium. 
58.  Tensor  fasciae  latse.  59.  Iliopsoas.  60.  Pectineus.  61.  Adductor  longus.  62.  Gracilis.  63.  Vastus  extemus.  64.  Vastus  inter- 
nus.  65.  Rectus  femoris.  66.  Quadriceps  extensor  femoris.  66'.  Tendon  of  same.  67.  Sartorius.  68.  Gluteus  maximus.  69. 
Gluteus  medins.  70.  Gluteus  minimus.  71.  Pyriformis.  72.  Obturator  intemus.  73.  Obturator  extemus.  74.  Tuberosity  of  the 
ischium.  75.  Sacrosciatic  ligament.  76.  Bicepsof  the  thigh.  77.  Semitendinosus.  78.  Semimembranosus.  79.  Patella.  80.  Tibia. 
81.  Peroneus  longus.  82.  Tibialis  anticus.  83.  Extensor  longus  digitorura.  84.  Extensor  longus  pollicis.  85.  Gastrocnemius. 
86.  Flexor  longus  digitorum.  87.  Tendo  Achillis.  88.  Soleus.  89.  'Tibialis  posticus.  90.  Flexor  longus  pollicis.  91.  Annular  lig- 
ament of  the  ankle.    92.  Extensor  brevis  digitorum.    93.  Extensor  tendon  of  the  toes. 

By  courtesy  of  Funk  <*•  Wagnalls  Company. 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  443 

are  powerful  in  quality  and  size,  just  to  suit  the 
place,  and  are  fixed  to  hold  all  bones  in  position, 
with  much  power,  left  after  doing  the  work  of 
bracing,  to  lift  much  additional  weight. 

Each  muscle  is  so  distinct  from  all  other  mus- 
cles in  form  and  office,  in  fact  we  might  call  each 
muscle  an  officer  whose  rank  is  a  division  com- 
mander. He  must  answer  to  the  grand  roll-call 
himself,  which  is  from  the  commanding  general, 
whose  headquarters  and  name  are  the  brain. 
Each  muscle  must  report  to  the  commanding 
general  and  salute  him  with  becoming  dignity, 
and  this  high  officer  must  salute  and  respect  all 
subordinates,  or  the  great  battle  of  life  will  be 
lost.  He  must  keep  his  couriers  to  each  division 
commander  in  motion,  all  the  time  bearing  de- 
spatches of  the  condition  of  all  camps  that  are 
being  reported  at  headquarters.  Each  division 
commander  shall  receive  and  read  all  despatches 
in  the  field  of  action — the  quartermaster,  com- 
missary, company,  squads,  and  sections,  not  of 
one  camp  or  division,  but  all  of  the  whole  army. 
We  have  only  brought  out  a  few  soldiers  or  mus- 
cles on  dress  parade,  that  you  may  be  the  better 
able  to  judge  what  a  soldier  looks  like,  that  kind 
servant  that  raises  or  lowers  your  arm  for  your 
convenience  and  comfort;   who  moves  one  limb 


444  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

and  sets  it  down  until  another  servant  can  pass 
by  it,  which  command  is  better  known  as  walk- 
ing. Another  commander  opens  and  closes  the 
eye  and  mouth.  Another  firing  up  the  engine 
of  life  and  heart.  Others  are  looking  after  the 
mill  that  grinds  crude  material,  and  separates  it 
from  the  blood  of  life,  which  supplies  the  nerves 
of  force,  motion,  sensation,  nutrition,  voluntary 
and  involuntary,  and  sustains  all  the  machinery 
of  life  and  reason. 

We  hope  by  these  atoms  of  intelligence  that 
you  may  be  called  into  the  ranks,  and  become 
active  explorers  for  knowledge  in  this  great  field 
of  reason  that  is  free  to  all. 

Your  taste  may  not  be  to  become  great  ana- 
tomical engineers,  but  a  few  thoughts  given  to 
this  field  of  philosophy,  with  a  few  illustrations, 
may  cause  you  to  investigate  far  enough  to  see 
and  know  that  your  brother  Osteopath  is  trying 
to  acquaint  himself  with  the  laws  of  life,  the 
machinery  of  life,  and  the  man  of  life,  who  is 
now  on  exhibition  at  the  end  of  many  thousand 
years  without  an  equal.  He  is  better  acquainted 
with  himself  who  knows  most  of  the  laws  as 
given  by  that  Intelligence  whom  the  civilized 
world  have  called  God.  Other  terms  are  and 
have  been  used,  such  as  Nature,  the  Unknow- 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL.  445 

able,  Creator,  the  All- Wise;  but  man,  the  result 
is  here  the  mystery  of  life,  the  problem  for  man 
to  solve — the  secret  of  God — the  result  of  the 
numbered  days  of  eternity. 

The  time  is  now  at  hand  for  Christmas,  New 
Year's,  and  great  big  dinners.  Big  turkeys,  big 
pies,  apple,  goose,  and  chicken  pies  with  oysters 
as  big  as  Cleveland  in  the  stuffing.  Cheese  with 
celery,  sausage  with  sage,  garlic  and  onions  to 
kill,  nut-cakes  and  soup,  ice  cream  and  frozen 
vinegar,  slaw  with  Jersey  cream,  and  walnut- 
cakes  with  it,  filibusters  and  codfish,  "taters," 
sweet  and  Irish.  With  "grannie's"  kind  of  pies, 
flavored  with  pure,  good  old  brandy  or  whisky, 
all  served  in  an  air-tight  room,  heated  to  kill  by 
a  furnace  to  120°  F.,  and  not  a  single  vent  of 
pure  air. 

Now  to  eat  is  the  command.  Eat  means  to 
sit  still  for  two  hours  and  cram  your  body  with 
from  three  to  twelve  changes  or  courses  of  dishes. 
Then  I  thought  of  the  fighting  preacher  who  al- 
ways prayed  before  he  went  into  battle  among 
shot  and  shell.  He  said:  "0  Lord,  I  ask  Thee 
to  save  my  body,  if  possible,  from  those  vultures 
of  lead  and  iron ;  if  not  able  to  save  my  body,  oh, 
please  save  my  soul."  Now  the  battle  is  open. 
I  see  the  gunners  and  aids  all  in  line.     The  rock- 


446  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL. 

ets  are  high  in  air,  which  say  the  first  course  is 
so  close  you  can  see  their  eyes,  and  the  command 
from  the  general  is  to  charge  along  the  whole 
line  and  show  no  quarter.  Eat  up  the  enemy  if 
you  can.  The  first  line  is  a  regiment  of  bread, 
black  and  white,  ham,  butter,  celery,  cheese, 
turkey,  coffee,  tea,  slaw,  and  cream,  and  lots 
more.  We  downed  the  first  line.  I  felt  good 
and  brave  to  know  I  had  helped  to  down  the  first 
great  line  of  the  enemy.  I  wanted  to  go  home 
and  tell  our  wonderful  victory,  and  asked  the 
commanding  general  for  a  furlough.  He  said 
No,  and  handed  me  his  field-glass,  and  said : 
"Look  at  the  second  regiment;  you  may  fall 
at  their  feet  and  be  trampled  to  death,  and  left 
there  for  the  beasts  of  the  field,  or  sent  to  Dr. 
Smith's  room  for  an  autopsy."  I  took  in  the 
sight,  saw  the  arms  of  the  second  great  and  ex- 
tended division,  that  we  must  charge  and  slay  at 
once,  or  be  branded  cowards  by  a  drumhead  court- 
martial.  Oh,  my!  can  I  stand  another  such  en- 
gagement as  the  last?  I  dread  their  arms. 
They  are  the  essence  of  danger.  Sausage  by 
the  yard  at  the  enemy's  side. 

I  fell  and  was  trampled  to  unconsciousness,  as 
our  general  said  I  might  be.  All  was  dead  with- 
in me  but  my  dreaming  powers,  and  they  kept 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  4-47 

up  a  perpetual  panorama  of  the  lives  and  cus- 
toms of  the  fowls  and  beasts;  how  they  ate  and 
how  they  lived — the  lion,  panther,  eagle,  vul- 
ture, elephant,  and  many  other  long-lived  ani- 
mals. All  animals,  from  the  ape  to  the  eagle, 
told  me  big  dinners  composed  of  a  hundred  kinds 
of  eat  and  drink  would  ruin  the  stomach  of  any- 
thing but  a  buzzard,  which  was  never  known 
to  be  foundered. 

All  long-lived  birds  and  animals,  that  live  on 
but  few  kinds  of  food,  should  be  a  lesson  for 
man  not  to  eat  and  drink  till  the  body  is  so  full 
that  no  blood-vessel  can  pass  in  any  part  of  the 
chest  or  abdomen.  Our  great  dinners  are  only 
slaughter-pens  of  show  and  stupidity.  Some 
would  say:  "It  is  such  a  nice  place  to  talk  and 
visit."  Does  an  owl  hoot  and  eat  at  the  same 
time?  Let  me  eat  quick  and  trot,  and  I  will 
have  health  and  strength. 

Off  to  the  country  with  a  flour-sack  full  of 
darkey  bones  in  1877,  and  have  been  doing  so 
ever  since.  At  that  time  I  was  very  anxious  to 
know  if  God  could  cure  chills  and  fever  without 
quinine  and  whisky,  fevers  without  drugs,  head- 
ache and  a  few  more  diseases  without  opium  and 
other  sedatives.  I  did  not  know  at  that  time 
that  I  could  apply  this  science  successfully  to  all 


448  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL. 

diseases  of  the  land  and  sea.  Still  I  had  stopped 
all  dry-land  vomiting,  but  had  not  had  an  oppor- 
tunity to  have  it  tested  on  the  sea.  But  it  has 
proven  its  efficacy  in  seasickness  just  the  same 
as  on  the  land. 

I  could  not  have  the  quiet  in  town  that  I  had 
in  the  country;  still  it  was  very  country -like  in 
the  town,  as  the  hogs  ran  at  large,  and  had  rooted 
out  holes  fifteen  to  twenty  feet  across  to  wallow 
in ;  and  when  a  rain  came,  it  was  a  great  resort 
for  them  to  bathe.  They  all  had  bathing-suits 
and  snouts,  and  would  often  come  in  the  kitchen 
in  search  of  food,  so  it  was  necessary  to  have  a 
few  dogs  to  chase  them  out.  Many  thought  it 
was  economy  to  raise  hogs  in  town,  and  let  them 
eat  their  slop. 

I  found  it  more  pleasant  to  study  Osteopathy 
in  the  country,  and  discovered  there  some  as  well- 
posted  persons  as  I  ever  met.  They  could  talk 
on  all  literary  subjects,  and  were  qualified  by 
learning  to  listen  to  and  decide  on  the  merits 
of  this  philosophy,  by  which  I  reasoned  that  all 
the  drugs  man  needed  were  put  in  him  by  na- 
ture's quartermaster,  and  that  the  supply  was 
abundant,  but  our  knowledge  was  limited  of  how 
to  use  the  remedy  nature  had  provided  for  us. 

I  found  in  the  family  of  William  Novenger, 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL.  449 

William  Hughes,  and  Dr.  Hendrix,  of  the  North- 
west part  of  the  country;  A.  H.  John,  Andrew 
Linder,  W.  Bulkly,  and  many  others  of  the  West 
part ;  Calvin  Smoot  and  man}^  more  in  the  East 
part,  all  kind  to  me  and  anxious  to  learn.  But 
most  of  them  are  now  dead,  and  their  homes  no 
longer  my  country  resorts.  Their  goodness  to 
me  in  the  dark  days  of  infant  Osteopathy  has 
stamped  in  me  a  love  that  will  last  to  my  grave. 
I  was  about  to  close,  and  leave  out  those  of  the 
South  part,  Captain  Bumpass,  Sol  Morris,  Gill- 
mores.  Meeks  brothers,  and  a  host  of  others  who 
have  been  kind  to  me  for  long  years. 

I  was  made  welcome  and  encouraged  to  go  on 
and  unfold  the  truths,  and  demonstrate  by  ap- 
plications to  sickness  the  efficacy  of  nature's  abil- 
ity to  cure  the  sick  without  the  help  of  drugs. 
Their  houses  gave  the  much-needed  encourage- 
ment to  unfold  the  hows  and  whys  to  set  hips, 
arms,  and  all  the  bones  of  the  spine.  Many  valu- 
able ideas  unfolded  to  my  better  understanding 
while  dwelling  in  the  quiet  country  with  the 
friends  of  progress. 

The  man  of  the  farm  came  in  with  backache, 
bad  enough  to  be  allowed  a  pension,  and  asks 
Osteopathy  to  give  the  cause  of  so  much  weak- 
ness and  pain  in  the  small  of  his  back,  and  how 
29 


450  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

to  ease  and  cure  without  porous  plasters,  blis- 
ters, resin-pills,  and  so  on.  I  answer,  "Perhaps 
the  wheels  of  your  back  are  cramped,  just  as 
your  wagon  cramps  if  you  make  a  short  turn. 
Man  at  best  is  a  machine;  sit  down  and  I  will 
straighten  the  coupling-pole  of  your  back."  And 
I  did. 

Dear  friends,  now  you  see  me  on  a  cot  sound 
asleep.  I  have  been  hard  up  for  many  years. 
Economized,  saved  up,  and  paid  the  last  cent  I 
owe  to  any  man,  and  have  a  few  cents  left.  Oh, 
how  sweetly  I  snooze !  I  never  go  to  sleep  and 
forget  to  pray.  I  was  taught  my  little  prayer 
when  I  was  young:  "I  pray  the  Lord  my  soul 
to  take." 

Now  I  pray  the  Lord  to  keep  my  head  combed 
with  a  fine  comb,  and  get  all  the  ignorance  out 
of  it,  for  Thou  knowest  the  dandruff  of  laziness 
is  rank  poison  to  knowledge,  success,  and  prog- 
ress. It  is  the  dust  of  hoggish  meanness.  Keep 
it  off,  0  Lord.     Amen. 


CHAPTER   XXXIII. 

In  Which  I  Make  Some  Allusion  to  My  Family — My  Wife — 
Gathering  Gems  of  Thought — My  Children — Drawing  to  a 
Close — My  Friends— The  Book  of  Life — Our  Dead— Fred — 
Conclusion. 

I  FEEL  I  would  not  do  justice  and  leave  my 
family  without  giving  them  meritorious  men- 
tion, though  it  is  not  their  biography  I  am  writ- 
ing. But  as  each  one  has  rendered  personal  as- 
sistancTe  of  great  value,  it  is  due  them  to  make 
mention  of  these  facts.  Over  a  quarter  of  a 
century  my  wife,  Mary  E.  Still,  has  given  her 
counsel,  advice,  consent,  and  encouraged  me  to 
go  on  and  unfold  the  truths,  laws,  and  principles 
of  life ;  to  open  and  proclaim  them  to  the  world 
by  demonstration,  which  is  the  only  method  by 
which  truth  can  be  established.  These  were  the 
basic  principles  on  which  I  embarked  on  the 
ocean's  unexplored  surface.  And  at  the  conclu- 
sion of  each  voyage,  whether  it  was  long  or 
short,  I  brought  home  such  specimens  as  I  could 
pick  up  as  an  explorer,  spread  them  on  the  table 
for  her  consideration  and  the  amusement  of  the 
children. 


462  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

She  received  all  truths,  and  separated  them 
from  the  doubtful,  labeled,  numbered,  and  filed 
away  each  block  and  piece  that  fit  in  the  great 
building  of  man's  life. 

I  cared  nothing  for  the  compass  that  pointed 
to  the  north,  south,  east,  or  west,  neither  did  I 
carry  such  instruments.  I  did  not  navigate  by 
the  force  of  steam  nor  wind,  but  by  the  great 
electro-magnetic  battery  of  reason.  My  compass 
was  reason ;  my  test  was  that  all  truths  do  love 
and  agree  with  all  others. 

I  took  voyage  after  voyage,  each  time  bring- 
ing larger  and  better  cargoes.  All  such  collec- 
tions as  I  thought  to  be  fine  gems  I  told  her  to 
cut,  set,  wear,  and  test  their  brilliancy,  label  and 
price  according  to  their  merits.  As  she  was  a 
mental  lapidist,  I  told  her  so  to  cut  each  stone 
with  shape  that  its  inner  beauties  might  be 
transposed  and  exhibited  upon  the  surfaces  of  all 
facets,  that  the  beholder  might  see  the  fine  colors 
that  were  capable  of  being  produced  by  nature's 
unerring  paint-brush.  All  of  which  she  did,  filed 
them  away  until  all  were  cut  and  numbered  to 
complete  the  building  from  base  to  dome. 

Those  beautiful  gems  at  the  end  of  a  few  years 
ceased  to  be  just  amusements  for  the  children. 
They,  both  sons  and  daughters,  with  each  passing 


^•-.^. 


^r- 


MISS  HELEN  BLANCHE  STILL,  D.O. 


HARRY  M.  STILL,  D.O. 


MRS.  MARY  E.  STILL. 


CHARLES  E.  STILL,  D.O. 


HERMAN  T.  STILL,  D.O. 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  453 

year  of  physical  growth,  began  to  reason  on  the 
grandeur  of  the  superstructure  they  could  now 
see,  until  all  members  of  the  house  buckled  on 
their  belts  with  all  necessary  implements,  and  en- 
listed in  this  army  of  truth -seekers,  and  became 
demonstrators  of  that  philosophy  whose  truths 
are  self-evident  facts,  and  only  need  to  be  seen 
to  be  known  as  the  work  of  some  unerring  mind 
or  principle,  which  some  would  call  nature, 
others  God.  Be  they  from  whatever  source, 
they  have  proven  that  they  are  truths  absolute, 
as  old  as  time  and  as  consoling  as  the  love  of 
God,  containing  each  and  every  principle  known 
by  the  highest  authority  on  sickness  and  health. 

At  this  stage  of  the  war  my  sons  are  no  more 
prattling  children,  but  men  of  mature  years. 
They  have  been  the  champions  of  many  bloody 
conflicts.  They  are  at  this  time  commanders  of 
divisions,  having  worn  the  epaulets  of  all  ranks. 
And  I  feel  that  future  battles  fought  by  them 
and  their  subordinates  will  be  as  wisely  con- 
ducted as  though  I  were  there  in  person. 

For  fear  of  tiring  the  reader  and  leaving  him 
with  the  belief  that  there  is  no  wisdom  outside 
of  my  family,  I  will  say  that  the  river  of  intelli- 
gence is  just  as  close  to  you  and  yours  as  it  is 
to  me  and  mine.     Although  by  good  fortune  I 


454  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

dipped  my  cup  first  in  the  broad  river  of  Oste- 
opathy, drank  and  gave  to  them,  which  fluid 
they  relished  as  all  intelligent  persons  do  who 
drink  from  this  river,  the  same  stream  flows 
for  you. 

I  would  advise  each  sailor  to  provision,  set  sail, 
and  navigate,  until  you  see  the  opposite  side  of. 
this  river,  whose  waters  when  drunk  are  solace 
to  the  despondent,  bone,  muscle,  and  strength 
to  the  cripple,  longevity  and  peace  to  all  man- 
kind. 

When  the  reader  of  this  imperfectly  written 
book  of  my  life  peruses  its  many  pages,  he  will 
find  a  great  many  subjects  written  after  my 
style,  which  may  not  appear  in  that  polished 
manner  of  a  professional  book-writer.  The  style 
may  appear  harsh  and  crude ;  if  so,  I  will  offer 
only  this  as  an  apology :  it  is  spoken  after  my 
manner  and  custom  of  speech. 

I  do  not  think  you  desire  that  I  be  disloyal  to 
my  mother ;  enough  so  as  to  try  to  give  you  my 
opinion  on  any  discovery  by  using  the  great 
words,  as  we  would  say,  or  borrow  other  pens  to 
do  my  writing.  She  was  my  greatest  friend 
while  alive.  She  is  the  lighthouse  of  my  cham- 
ber of  reason.  Although  long  since  physically 
inactive,  her  language,  which  was  strictly  that 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  455 

of  an  educated  lady,  furnishes  me  a  vocabulary 
from  which  to  choose  when  I  desire  to  express 
an  opinion. 

Thus  you  have  the  reason  -why  I  am  proud  to 
speak  from  my  mother's  tongue.  And  next  to 
her  and  my  own  family,  I  will  speak  of  a  few 
faithful  and  intelligent  friends.  I  may  not  call 
them  by  name,  but  their  houses,  beds,  and  tables 
have  universally  been  spread  by  the  hands  and 
hearts  of  kindness  for  my  ease  and  comfort. 
They  have  freely  and  lovingly  tried  and  suc- 
ceeded in  assisting  me  to  write  up  my  life,  and 
encouraged  me  at  all  times  to  fight,  defend  the 
flag,  and  never  surrender. 

I  feel  that  I  cannot  close  this  book  without 
saying  to  he  or  she  who  has  helped  me  by  kind 
suggestions  and  otherwise,  in  this  effort  to  com- 
pile something  of  a  history  of  the  struggles  that 
I  have  had  mentally,  and  in  many  other  ways  to 
throw  open  the  book  of  life  and  read  its  charm- 
ing pages  that  are  so  plainly  written  on  thou- 
sands of  golden  leaves  which  were  manufactured 
in  the  great  paper-mill  of  the  Infinite. 

As  I  have  about  concluded  this  work,  and  will 
soon  withdraw  from  their  homes  and  firesides 
which  have  been  so  lavish  with  kindness,  I  will 
say,  in  conclusion,  "Your  hospitality  in  past  days 


456  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL. 

has  kindled  in  me  the  everlasting  feeling  of  love, 
friendship,  and  respect." 

We  often  think  of  our  heloved  dead.  Why  do 
we?  Because  of  ties  made  from  the  fiber  of  the 
soul.  Each  strand  found  in  the  cord  of  love  is 
so  pure  that  the  acids  of  time  never  corrode. 
No  known  element  can  cause  the  rust  of  decay. 
No  hour,  day,  or  year  has  power  to  push  a  loving 
friend  far  back  in  the  leaves  of  our  book  of  mem- 
ory and  love.  We  say,  "Is  he  or  she  dead?"  and 
wait  the  answer  coming  from  our  souls,  which  is 
"No,"  all  day.  We  feel  the  touch  of  the  hand, 
hear  the  sound  of  the  voice,  saying,  Weep  not 
when  the  tongues  retire  from  the  service  of  man, 
and  the  melody  of  life  cannot  be  produced  to  weld 
soul  to  soul  by  sounds  of  joy  and  friendly  conver- 
sation, and  the  feast,  of  reason  forever  stopped; 
we  moan  the  cries  of  anguish  that  never  dies. 
We  feel  that  the  curtain  has  fallen,  never  to  rise 
again,  and  all  the  charming  views  will  never  ap- 
pear to  our  eyes.  All  prayers  and  tears  are  of 
no  avail.  They  only  stand  as  additional  evi- 
dences that  hope  has  no  foundation,  and  the 
fall  of  the  dark  curtain  is  to  close  us  for  all  time 
and  days  of  mortal  life  from  even  a  glimpse  of 
our  loved  ones.  Death  has  declaimed  and  pro- 
claimed that  the  fiat  of  death  changes  not.     Nei- 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL.  457 

ther  can  it  be  and  not  ruin  one  of  the  parts  of 
that  law  that  says.  Life  is  the  one  half  and  death 
the  other  half  that  does  all  the  work  and  clothes 
us  for  that  day's  feast;  that  is,  for  an  eternal 
training-school  for  man. 

We  should  smile  when  we  see  by  the  lamp  of 
reason  that  all  of  nature's  laws  sing  the  anthems 
of  love  from  birth 
till  death,  and  key 
up  for  music  whose 
harmony  is  streams 
of  perpetual  over- 
flow of  the  spread- 
ing oil  of  gladness 
and  wisdom  pluck- 
ed from  the  densest 
forests  of  knowl- 
edge   and    ripening 

.  FRED. 

fruits,    are    at    all 

times  visible  to  the  most  superficial  minds  of  men. 
I  hated  to  lose  this  darling  boy.  I  would  talk 
to  him  often  as  of  yore,  but  life,  as  we  know, 
has  closed  forever  the  chance  for  such  friendly 
feasts,  and  our  moans  are  only  heard  by  our 
silence.  It  is  law,  and  would  be  a  much  greater 
feast  to  us  if  we  knew  the  grandeur  of  life  and 
death. 


458  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL. 


FRED. 

We  hate  the  word,  "He  is  dead." 
It  makes  us  cry  piteously,  that  we  have  lost  our  best. 
As  in  mind  we  call  the  endless  roll  of  our  loving  dead, 
Our  souls  cry  out   in  anguish,  while  our  loved  ones  are  at 
rest. 

One  by  one  their  forms  appear;    I  cry  again,    "I  love  my 

dead." 
I  view  their  faces  each  in  turn — father,  mother,  my  dear  son 

Fred. 
Tears  from  my  eyes  from  morn  till  night  adown  my  face  as 

rivers  flow, 
I  ask  and  reason,  "If  he  is  not  dead,  where,  oh,  where,  then, 

did  he  go?" 

"  Dead  !"  Dead  !     "  He  is  dead  !" 

Why,  O  my  friends,  please  tell  me  why, 

When  a  friend  is  dead,  "He  did  not  die"? 

Like  a  philosopher,  when  dying,  he  said  : 

"  When  this  job  is  done,  I'll  return,  not  dead." 

I  hate  the  word,  "He  is  dead,  dead  !" 
It  may  be  true,  but  not  with  Fred. 

A.  T.  Still. 


The  mind  that  has  lost  the  quickening  powers 
of  mental  gratitude,  and  has  grown  so  stupid  by 
the  purgative  action  of  selfishness  as  to  expel 
from  his  memory  a  desire  to  express  to  all  per- 
sons, from  the  infant  at  the  breast  to  the  grave- 
dipping  foot  of  the  aged,  by  kindly  words  and 
deeds,  to  all  persons  who  have  ever  thrown  a  rose, 
a  crumb  of  bread,  or  a  soft  feather  that  would 
make  his  road  easier,  his  heart  happier,  his  mind 


AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.   T.  STILL.  459 

more  at  rest,  in  my  judgment  is  guilty  of  one  of 
the  most  unpardonable  offenses  that  the  pen  of 
man  has  ever  recorded  or  the  mind  of  justice 
could  contemplate.  How  could  we  think  for  a 
moment  of  not  treasuring  those  kind  words  and 
deeds  in  our  hearts  and  minds  as  the  most  sacred 
gems,  whose  sweetness  should  not  disappear  from 
the  taste  of  the  tongue  and  memory?  We  should 
remember  them  very  sacredly,  because  those 
sweet  waters  of  joy  were  poured  into  our  hearts 
when  every  river  which  branches  off  from  our 
engine  of  life  was  filled  with  the  bitter  gall  of 
lost  hope  and  despair.  Who  but  a  brute  with 
the  heart  of  a  crocodile  could  ever  say  to  that 
kind  heart  who  filled  us  with  the  oil  of  glad- 
ness in  bygone  days.  Stand  aside ;  I  never  knew 
you!  Let  me  say  I  have  more  of  the  material 
world  now  than  then,  and  all  the  days  added 
have  increased  in  my  mind  and  heart,  and  mul- 
tiplied, the  store  of  love  that  I  have  for  you 
and  all  persons  who  have  ever  given  me  the 
touch  of  the  soft  hand  of  kindness  in  my  days 
of  adversity. 

I  wish  to  leave  this  expression  as  a  token  of 
my  love  to  all  kind  hearts  whom  I  have  ever 
met  in  mortal  life,  I  hope  you  will  believe  at 
this   time   and   age  of  life,  that   these  are  the 


460  AUTOBIOGRAPHY  OF  A.  T.  STILL. 

sentiments  that  I  wish  to  leave  with  you  when 
I  lie  down  with  my  head  upon  the  knapsack, 
and  I  hand  to  the  quartermaster  when  I  re- 
ceive my  final  discharge  at  the  end  of  the 
struggle  of  mortality. 


THE   END. 


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1897 
Still,  Andrew  T. 

Autobiography  of  Andrew  T.  Still 


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